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Two 6-packs, East and West

July, 2003

Real Beer Six-PackJuly is American Beer Month, so we asked brewers on both coasts to list six beers that make them proud of their regional beer scene. Tom Nickel keeps busy as corporate brewer for the Oggi's Pizza & Brewing chain and co-owner of O'Brien's Pub in San Diego. Chris Trogner and his brother, John, founded Tröegs Brewing Co. in Harrisburg, Pa., in 1996.

We asked Chris to include one of his owns beers. We might have done the same with Tom, since he's won many brewing awards, but he had a hard enough time narrowing the field to six as it was.

Six beers that make Chris Trogner happy to be a Pennsylvania brewer:

1. Penn Weizen (Pittsburgh). "A classic German hefeweizen with plenty of cloves and spices. Penn Weizen is top-fermented and very effervescent with a slight hint of tangy clove flavor."

2. Sly Fox Pikeland Keller Pils (Phoenixville). "An unfiltered 'cellar' version the Pikeland Pilsner, cloudy and golden in the glass, crisp and dry on the tongue. Brewed with imported German Pils malt and hopped with German and Czech hops."

3. Otto's Wit (State College). "Brewed with hints of coriander, orange peel and Belgian yeast from a "new" brewpub in State College."

4. Stoudts Gold (Adamstown). "Well balanced helles style lager enjoyable on a hot and humid summer day. An all round good drinking beer."

5. Tröegs HopBack Amber (Harrisburg). "Named after the 'hopback' in the brewhouse, balanced with caramel malt this beer is very aromatic and spicy."

6. Pious Monk Dunkel, Church Brew Works (Pittsburgh). "The body is surprisingly mellow, and the alcohol content is a bit lower than most people might think. It has a wonderfully clean and roasty aroma."

Tom Nickel picks six beers that represent positively what's going on in the San Diego region.

1. Yellowtail Pale Ale (Ballast Point Brewing). "San Diego is a yellow beer market, Coors Light is the No. 1 selling beer, and this is a really good Kölsch."

2. Cuvee de Tomme (Pizza Port Solano Beach). "There are a number of very good Belgian-style beers being brewed in San Diego, and White (Labs) is right there. What Cuvee represents is not just a barrel-aged beer or a Belgian-style beer, but a lot of what's next."

3. AleSmith X (AleSmith Brewing). "Their flagship beer. It's also a yellow beer, people feel secure with it because of its color, but it is full of flavor. It's virtually all two-row (barley), 5.5 abv, and really drinkable."

4. Frank (Pizza Port Carlsbad). "The represenative Double IPA (a style California brewers like to call their own, and this year a new category at the GABF), a hop bomb. How extreme can we get with that?"

5. Arrogant Bastard Ale (Stone Brewing). "The list isn't going to be complete without a Stone beer. It represents more than a strong ale. The best thing is the attention it gives San Diego: Yeah, you're the guys with that Bastard stuff. That beer has been our ambassador."

6. Pure Hoppiness (Alpine Beer Co.). "This is nearly 8%, but not really a Double IPA. We've got a lot of big IPAs in our area that people will drink as their 'regular' beer. Brewery movements seem to come in waves. The first was in our area was in the early '90s. In the last two years we're getting a second round of growth with some new little micros. They don't make 1,000 barrels but they brew really good beers across five styles."

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