I dropped by Tröegs last weekend, September 1st, to try some Scratch Beer. The Trogners are celebrating their brewery's 10th anniversary by brewing a series of draft-only beers from recipes they thought up back in the pre-business days...mostly, and serving them only on draft at the brewery on Saturdays...mostly. The one I got on Saturday was Scratch #3, which is -- appropriately -- a Triple. It was big and flavorful at 9.5%, certainly no session beer. It was, however, quite drinkable thanks to good attenuation. The boys used a different Belgian yeast strain than the one used in Mad Elf, and it worked quite well.
Then I got some Dead Reckoning Porter, and it's quite a bit hoppier than I remember from the first time around. It's verging on dark IPA territory, but with a solid bedrock of dark malt character; at 5.8% and 53 IBUs, it's sniffing around the lower end of Baltic territory. (Geeks: I'm kidding. This is not a Baltic porter. Just messing around.) I liked it so much I had to have another.
Finally, John went back and tickled the zwickel for a preview of Scratch Beer #4: The Flying Mouflan...at least, I think that's what John was saying. It's a wild-assed American-style barleywine. John described it this way: "We took Nugget Nectar and pushed it off a cliff." I smelled hops from three feet away, and said to him, "There's so much hops oil in this, it's greasy." It's a whopping big mutha, too, over 10%. But the beauty of this beer is that the hops don't grab your tongue like a sandpaper mitten: they've got the 'honeyed hops' effect going, like eating hop candy. It's a big sweet malty barleywine, juiced up with silly amounts of hop flavor and aroma, and a bitterness that mostly comes in the finish. If you want a pint of this stuff, get a driver.
Good time at the brewery, my first time on a Saturday tour day. If you haven't made this stop, you should put it on your schedule.