TRÖEGS NUGGET NECTAR REVIEWAMERICAN HOPPINESS MEETS AN AMBER ALE
Founded in 1996 in Harrisburg Pennsylvania, brothers John and Chris Trogner created a portmanteau from their surname and the Dutch word for pub, ‘kroeg’, to make Tröegs for the name of their new brewery. In 2011 they expanded and moved to Hershey, adding a tasting room, snacks, even Wifi. Beyond Tröegs Nugget Nectar, the brothers also brew a number of other well regarded brews including cherry and spice based Mad Elf Ale, the award winning American barleywine Flying Mouflan, coffee forward JavaHead Stout, and the always experimental Scratch Series of one off brews, among others.
In the winter of 1900, an undefeated Mike Tyson faced the then unknown Buster Douglas in Tokyo. Despite having lost his trainer and being caught up in tumultuous business dealings, Tyson was the overwhelming favorite, given 42-1 odds. But reputation alone could not save Iron Mike in the waning rounds. He hit the canvas in one of the most shocking upsets of all time. Experts can be wrong and cinderella stories can happen. But reaching for a bottle of this heavyweight, with the hand grenade of hop flowers on the label, the odds of a Buster Douglas-like upset seem highly unlikely.
Tröegs Nugget Nectar is a craft beer which, like Mike Tyson, holds a superior reputation as a hop head favorite. But is an amber ale even worthy of consideration for hop lovers, as IPAs are the style at the vanguard of hop-centric beer? Amber ales such as New Belgium’s Fat Tire create mass appeal by giving consumers complex, often sweet malts with only subtle hops. An American amber or red ale on the other hand, tends to be a much hoppier version of the amber. Or they are all just pale ales in ruddy sheep’s clothing…
Nugget Nectar pours a semi-transparent copper with a quickly dissipating white head. The nose explodes with a tropical fruit hop note, and sweet malts. Carbonation is strong and works to push the resinous body. Taste is a blast of citrus and pine hops, along with a strong toasted malt backbone, and crisp, bitter hoppy finish. The flavor is greatly refreshing and highly quaff-able.
The hype lives up to the hops. Tröegs Nugget Nectar is a nearly perfectly balanced ale, with chewy caramel malts doing battle with the big citrus and pine hop flavors. This is the kind of beer hop lovers can cling to without fear of the palette fatigue that comes with less balanced IPAs. And the kind of beer that craft beer fans of all kinds can enjoy, as it brings complex, inviting flavors, while never becoming a one-note, overly bitter hop bomb.