by Christopher King
Tröegs Independent Brewing gives their extra grains to local farms and uses all local Pennsylvania vendors while building a community.
Photo by Christopher King
Local Brewing Company, Tröegs Independent Brewing, moved into the Hershey area in 2011. The first Tröegs was on Paxton Street in Harrisburg in 1996. Other than making beer, their motivation to be and be a part of the community was other reason Tröegs has become known for.
Sunny Brae Hop Planting is a hops plant in rural Carlisle, PA. They grow hops for many brewers and Tröegs is one of them. Tröegs helped plant two acres of Cascade, Chinook, Comet, and Nugget hops to use in the Scratch Beer. The owner of Sunny Brae, Adam, quit his day job, plow his back yard, plow the farm next to him, drive telephone stakes into the ground and plant hops creating Sunny Brae Farms. From Tröegs’s blog called “Out of Curiosity” they gave a brief description of the hops and their experience, “Adam’s interest in hop-growing stems from his background in soil science as well as his fascination with craft beer. And it turns out Sunny Brae provided the perfect soil for growing hops. The coarse, stony composition of the earth prevents the ground from getting too soggy, which can ultimately rot out hop roots, and the exposure to sunlight and breeze helps keep the base of his plants dry and aids in keeping common diseases under control. Ultimately Adam said his goal was to make a connection with the local community, and with the abundance of small, independent breweries in Central PA; he hopes to open the door to collaborations and infuse a sense of local pride into the beers for which he provides hops” (Trogner J. Sunny Brae Hop). These notes were from John Trogner’s Notebook on the experience he had.
Not only does Tröegs use local areas for their hops, they also use local area’s for fruit. Peters Orchard is an orchard in Adams County that has been around since 1870. Dave Peter is the third-generation owner of the Orchard. The orchard is big into preserving its farmland to help maintain American farmers to give American’s more home-grown food. Tröegs used this orchard to create “Wild Elf” by using their cherries as one of the main ingredients for the beer.
Photo by Christopher King
On a tour of Tröegs we got some insight on what they do with some of their left-over grains they use. They send their left-over grains to local farms in Perry County to feed their livestock. Livestock and farming is a big part of the Perry County culture and income. Living in Perry County most of the land is farm based. Driving through Perry County you can see farms almost every mile you go deeper and deeper into the county. Families raise their children into the farming lifestyle. By giving farmers left over grains to help farmers this improves the lifestyle and income of most farmers in the area. They also work with Strites’ Orchard, Seer Creek Malthouse, Little Peace Farm, Keswick Creamery, St. Thomas Roasters, Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative, and Double Eagle Malt. Even though Troegs uses a lot of local businesses they also create local events to bring awareness and to help some organizations as well.
While having a rich life in the local farming community, Tröegs also helps with charities and local events. On April 21, 2017 several co-workers of Tröegs helped plant 360 trees and plants along the Swatara Creek in Middletown. This was organized by Tröegs and Manada Conservancy to help the environment grow. Manada Conservancy is a non-profit organization that preserves nature, historic, agricultural and scenic resources in Dauphin County. They use conservation, environmental education and community engagement to help with the lands to preserve them. The planting was a way to create a greenway along the Swatara Creek. This helps with healthy local waterway while giving the Chesapeake Bay a possible positive future. Planting trees and shrubs to help for the future is not the only thing Tröegs does to help organizations. The brewery is only one part of the Tröegs community. While we love keeping our vendors and producers local, we also love supporting local causes we believe in.
The YMCA is a non-profit organization that helps communities with youth development, healthy living and social responsibilities. They help out with mostly healthy living, but they also say to be “confident, connect and secure” (YMCA Facts & Figures). Tröegs has created a 5K run called the “Hop Dash 5K” that donates all the money made in the run to the YMCA. The founder and co-owner of Tröegs, Chris Trogner said “Our family has been a supporter of the YMCA for a long time, and we’ve developed a strong relationship with them over the years. We’re excited to see the Hop Dash continue to grow and draw people from outside Central PA” (Info-Hopdash). Tröegs has many ways they want to give back to the community even creating events like this one.
Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development had talked to Tröegs about who they are and what they are. They ask Tröegs “What makes you proud to be a Pennsylvania business?” Tröegs told them about how lucky they were to be in the area they focused on localized products by saying this “About 60 percent of our sales are in Pennsylvania, so sourcing local ingredients resonates with our customers. They know a lot of the farms and have emotional connections to certain locales. When we share those stories, our fans have a stronger connection to our beers, and it gives them a sense of pride and ownership” (dced.pa.gov). Tröegs is not just only a Brewery, it is also a community that gives back to the local businesses and other organizations.
Chris and John Trogner have always been close since the start. When they both went to college they went on their separate ways. John went to Philadelphia while Chris went to Colorado to take on a higher education. John, being the oldest one, left college not wanting to go into the corporate world. Chris had a calling of being a brewer and soon enough the brothers started brewing from home which started the beginning of their story. Chris an John always wanted to give back to the community by either giving workers free beer, charity work, or using local ingredients.
Map location of the Brewery
Trogner, J. (2017, May 16). Tröegs helps plant trees! Retrieved from https://blog.troegs.com/troegs-helps-plant-trees/
Trogner, J. (2017, November 01). Peter’s Orchard cherry selection trip. Retrieved from https://blog.troegs.com/peters-orchard-cherry-selection-trip/
Trogner, J. (2017, November 01). Sunny Brae Hop planting. Retrieved from https://blog.troegs.com/sunny-brae-hop-planting/
(n.d.). Retrieved from https://peters-orchards.com/welcome
Info-HopDash. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://ymcarun.com/info-hopdash/
Organizational Profile. (2019, March 08). Retrieved from http://www.ymca.net/organizational-profile
(n.d.). Small Business Spotlight: Tröegs Brews Success in Hershey. Retrieved from https://dced.pa.gov/paproudblog/small-business-spotlight-troegs-brews-success-hershey/