Harrisburg Beer Week is on the horizon, and with it comes a new 717 Collaboration Beer.
Each year, anticipation for the 717 Collab grows as eager imbibers begin speculating about what it will be months in advance.
While the 717 has always been a joint project between Harrisburg Beer Week and the participating breweries, this year’s staple brew made for something special.
From its inception to brew day, this year’s 717 collaborators, Zeroday Brewing Co., Appalachian Brewing Co., Tröegs Independent Brewing, and Boneshire Brew Works, along with the entire Harrisburg Beer Week team, worked hand-in-hand to create a beer that is unique to the greater Harrisburg area and its brewing DNA.
Over the six months of meetings, text messages, test batches, and a few headaches, the 717 Collab took shape and is now in fermenters waiting to be canned and kegged for the start of Harrisburg Beer Week 2019.
What is it?
This year’s 717 Collab is a Helles Bock, a style of lager.
Getting to this style didn’t happen by accident, and it wasn’t the first style that was proposed.
Initial ideas included styles like a barrel-aged beer or a light E.S.B., but nothing was hitting home with everyone in the room.
To bring a little more clarity to the project, John Trogner, Tröegs brewmaster, polled the team to help hone in on a style.
“When this got started last summer, we all went around the table and talked about styles, ingredients
From there, the brewers got to work.
Testing 1, 2, 3, 4
Unlike past 717 Collabs, this year’s went through numerous test batches before it was ready for its official brew.
Each brewer set out to experiment with a specific approach to work out the final recipe and techniques. You may have even sampled one of these without knowing its roots.
“Zeroday did a dunkel with Augustiner yeast,” said Trogner. “ABC worked on a hop combination, and we brewed a Mexican Lager and a Golden Lager to dial in the malt bill.”
“That’s the web, the collaborative nature,” said Trogner. “That’s why this beer could only come from local breweries in the 717.”
The breweries pulled out, plugged in, and set in motion aspects from each brew to prep for brew day.
What’s in your glass
This year’s 717 Collab is an old school style with an old school approach that is not common in modern brewing.
Helles Bock style lagers have German origins where they traditionally are served at beer festivals, making this seasonally and circumstantially appropriate for Harrisburg Beer Week.
This version is subtly complex with semi-dry layers of toasted grains and fresh bread balanced with restrained herbal and wildflower notes from Hersbrucker and Huell Melon hops.
Tröegs brewed three 15-barrel batches on brew day. The following week, a fourth batch will be brewed for
Wort from the final batch will be mixed with fresh yeast and added to chilled tanks of the fermenting lager. Stressing fresh yeast captures carbon dioxide and subtle ester notes.
717 Collab Beer description
With each spring, a new 717 Collab emerges. This Helles Bock is built in layers culminating in a semi-dry, malt-forward, complex lager with subtle hop flavors and aroma.
To make sure everyone could
Harrisburg Beer Week not only connects the craft beer community through hundreds of
A fully volunteer and independent
This year, $1 per draft sold at collaborators’ locations will be donated to Harrisburg Beer Week and ultimately, Harrisburg River Rescue.
Beyond the taproom
717 Collaboration Beer will be released at the start of Harrisburg Beer Week on Friday, April 26.
In addition to being on tap at each brewery, this year’s 717 Collab is making its way out into the world in both cans for the first time since 2015 and on tap at local bars and restaurants.
Venues carrying this year’s 717 include:
- Tröegs Independent Brewing
- Appalachian Brewing Co., Harrisburg & Mechanicsburg
- Zeroday Brewing Co.
- Zeroday Øutpost at Broad Street Market
- Boneshire Brew Works
- The Midtown Tavern
- The Sturges Speakeasy
- McGrath’s Pub
- Brewhouse Grille
- Market Cross Pub
- Big Bottom Brewery
- Moo-Duck Brewery
#717Collab also will be pouring at the Harrisburg Beer Week VIP Party on Friday, April 26 and Harrisburg Beer Week booth at PA Flavor on Saturday, April 27.
With so many ways to enjoy the 717 Collab Beer this year, there’s no reason to end #HBGBeerWeek without at least one pour.