If you’re familiar with Tröegs beers, you’ve likely sampled a Scratch beer or two. The Scratch series has long reigned as the Hershey brewery’s R&D lab, wherein its brewers try their hands at new flavor combinations, ingredients and beer styles in small batches, with each brew given a number instead of an outright name and available exclusively at the brewery. Flying Mouflan, Perpetual IPA, Cultivator Helles Bock, Hop Knife Harvest Ale – they all were once Scratch beers.
Today, Tröegs taps a tasty milestone as it unveils Scratch #200: Red Steam Common Ale. If you’re not familiar, the California Common ale style – also known as a “steam” beer but never actually called that since Anchor Brewing in California trademarked “Steam Beer” back in 1981 – is an ale that’s actually made with lager yeasts, but at a warmer-than-usual fermentation temperature. According to a press release from Tröegs, Red Steam Common Ale is an homage of sorts to Scratch #1 – released all the way back in 2007 – which was a similar style.
The 200th Scratch beer milestone isn’t the whole story here, however. The beer was made in collaboration with the Hershey Volunteer Fire Co. According to the press release:
While supplies last, Tröegs will sell commemorative pint glasses through its General Store at the brewery, with a portion of proceeds being donated to the Hershey Volunteer Fire Department. Additionally, Tröegs will donate $1 of every pint and growler of Red Steam Common Ale sold at the brewery to the cause.
“Firefighters are such an integral part of our community,” said John Trogner, co-owner of Tröegs. “We wanted to do something special to honor these men and women who volunteer their time to help keep us safe. This beer is for them.”
Additionally, Tröegs has also made a $25,000 pledge to the department’s capital campaign, which is working to raise the final $1.4 million of its $6.8 million goal to fund the construction of a new station.
Red Steam Common Ale is on tap at the Tröegs Tasting Room (200 E. Hershey Park Dr., Hershey) for a limited time only.