The beer this week begins a series I’m doing over the summer on Troegs Anthology No. 1 variety pack. This features a six-pack each of Dream Weaver unfiltered wheat, Pale Ale, Sunshine Pils American pilsner and Hopback Amber American amber ale. I love all these beers and almost always have one of these variety packs in my fridge because it has something for just about everyone.
Troegs was founded by the Trogner brothers in late 1996 and sold its first keg of beer July 18, 1997. The original brewery was located in downtown Harrisburg, Pa., and it did not have an attached pub, which is unusual for a microbrewery in the U.S. The demand for their beer expanded quickly, and Troegs broke ground on a new 90,000-square-foot facility in Hershey, Pa. This facility is constructed in a rather unique manner with a large, window-lined hallway running through the brewhouse. This allows visitors to take self-guided tours during the hours of 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. The new facility also boasts a 5,000-square-foot tasting room, which is available for special events. Personally, it sounds like the perfect place for a wedding reception, although not everyone may share that view.
Dream Weaver poured a nice honey-orange color and was clearer than I would have expected from an unfiltered wheat beer. It was possible to see through this beer, although there was definitely haze. I honestly could not tell, however, whether it was yeast in suspension or chill haze. The head formed as perhaps a finger of pure white, moderately coarse foam, which settled out very quickly, leaving behind only a thin ring at the edge. The aroma was quite yeasty, with some slightly sweet, citrusy orange character, and it was actually fairly strong. Honestly, something about the yeast scent seemed a little off to me. I’m not exactly sure what it was, but it just didn’t seem quite right.
The carbonation was moderate and came out very quickly, fizzing on the tongue. The fizzing was much less sharp or sparkly than in a soda, however, and it was quite pleasant. The body was moderately thick and coated the mouth, lingering after the finish. While this sensation was fairly sweet, it was not as cloying as many Belgians. The taste was fairly sweet, with a beautiful fruitiness from the yeast. I picked out apple, orange and hints of plum, which ended in a nice, bready finish with hints of hop bitterness. Overall, this beer was very good. The aroma seemed a bit off, and the flavor profile slightly sweeter than it used to be, but this is definitely a very good beer to have on hand during the summer.
Now, I have a confession to make. After tasting this beer and writing up this review, I found out that Troegs recommends that you pour three quarters of the beer, swirl the rest in the bottom to stir up the yeast sediment, and then pour that into the glass. For the first beer I tried gently rolling the bottle on the table before I opened it, like I normally do for hefeweizens, and I got the taste profile I mentioned above. The second beer, which I had two days later while writing the review, was poured like the Troegs brothers recommend. This technique added substantially more yeast in suspension and gave a beautiful banana flavor that had been missing previously. Picking up the yeast definitely improved this beer a lot and moved its aroma score from 3 to 4.5 and its taste score from 4 to 4.5. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer, and I recommend trying it if you get a chance.