Hey everyone, thanks for stopping in! After all of the Christmas festivities this year, Kerry and I decided to take a small trip out to Hershey, PA. We planned on seeing the winter lights at Hershey Park and visiting the new Troegs brewery. We took Rte 76 West, and couldn't help but notice a few billboards for the Stoudts brewpub, and instantly decided to stop in to Stoudts on the way home from Hershey. On the way home I also wanted to stop in at Victory Brewing Co. to see if we could score some Red Thunder and Oak Horizontal.
On Thursday we dropped our cats off at Kerry's parents house, had some lunch, and hit the road! We stuck to the main highways, taking 476 S to 76 W. It was an easy and surprisingly short trip. We made it to our hotel in Hershey in roughly 2 hours (which would have been even shorter if we hadn't taken a detour to try and find a Sheetz we saw from the highway. Sadly, we never found that Sheetz.).
After checking into the hotel, we drove out to Hershey Park to walk around their Christmas lights, which was pretty neat. Here are some pictures for your holiday viewing pleasure.
We were ecstatic to get out of the cold, and found our way (~1 mile drive) to Troegs! Troegs has been in this new facility for around a year now, and built it specifically with the customer/beer drinker in mind. As you walk in, the gift shop is to the right, where you can buy cases of beer, mix a six pack, buy shirts, glasses, etc. To the left is the entrance to the taproom, where there is a large bar, and tons of tables and booths to sit in and enjoy the beer. At the far end of the taproom is their kitchen, where they have appetizers, large plates of food, sandwiches and desserts.
Before we sat down for food and beers, we took a walk through their self-guided tour. The tour is set up so you could get a beer from the taproom, and stroll through the window-lined production area. You first see the fermentation tanks, the filtration area, then the bottling/packaging lines. This brewery runs pretty much 24/7, and while we were there, they were bottling and packaging up their newest year round beer, Perpetual IPA.
Kerry and I then found a spot at the end of the bar, where we got a flight of 3 beers, 4.5 oz. each. Kerry got Troegenator, Scratch #82 Belgian Triple and Mad Elf, while I opted for Scratch #84 Belgian Pale Ale, Mad Elf and Java Head. For food, we ordered the hand cut fries, made with hop oil and served with spicy ketchup, mad elf fondue served with crispy baguette and apples, and house cured charcuterie, served with pickles and mustard. When our food came I washed it down with a pint of Hopback Amber. The food and the beer were all great! My favorite beer of the night was probably the Mad Elf, it's a tough one to beat!
The next day, we headed back down Rte 76 E. We exited 15 or 20 miles down the road, and stopped in what I like to think of as the Stoudts compound. When we first turned in, we found ourselves not at the brewery, but in the midst of Stoudtburg Village! We knew there was an antiques store near the brewpub, but this was not what we expected. They built what seems like a Bavarian-inspired village, where you can stroll along, shop, eat and enjoy the sights. Across a small street from the village was the Stoudts antique mall, and their cheese and bread shop. We didn't pick up any of the bread and cheese, but it all looked great!
Next we found the Stoudts brewery and the Black Angus Restaurant and Pub. We went to the pub and took a seat at the bar and both ordered flights once again. This was the first bar I had been to where you could get a single beer of the flight at a time! Kerry got the Heifer-in-Wheat, Scarlet Lady ESB, Oktoberfest and the Triple. I went for their vanilla stout (on the handpump), Double IPA, Helles and Pils. The beers were all great. My favorite was the vanilla stout, which is pictured below. You can also buy lots of their beers to take home. They had some big bottles (I remember there being a quad), and you could also mix a six pack.
Another 30 miles down the road, and we had arrived at Victory! We were only stopping here briefly to see if we could find some beer to bring home, and find beer we did! Victory also has a restaurant at their facility in Downingtown. We will have to eat their the next time we are in town! You can see in the pictures below what beers we came home with, but alas, no Red Thunder!