The Factors That Led LolliHop to Year-Round Status

LolliHop isn’t a new beer for Tröegs, but the Double IPA is occupying a new spot in the brewery’s portfolio following a recent announcement that the once-experimental brew had been promoted to year-round status in the lineup.

“We’d never had a year-round Double IPA in the 25-year history of the brewery,” said John Trogner, co-founder and brewmaster. “Since we already have several established Double IPAs and our customers keep asking us to make one year-round, we thought the timing was right to graduate LolliHop. 

“Perpetual IPA has been our bread and butter for a long time, so it’s nice to have a Double IPA right by its side in our year-round lineup.”

LolliHop began its life in Tröegs’ Scratch Series — an experimental, small-batch series where the brewery looks for the right ingredients and the best ways to use them. 

“We started by making subtle tweaks to mash temperatures, the mineral composition of our water, and the timing and temperature of hop additions,” Trogner said. “We loved the results and were able to achieve the fluffy mouthfeel and dry finish we were looking for. After four Scratch batches, we landed on a final recipe featuring a hop combination of Mosaic, Citra and Azacca to coax out those notes of pear, citrus and melon we wanted. There’s only a handful of beers that have an ‘a-aha’ origin, and LolliHop is one of them.”

Moving the beer from a once-a-year limited release to year-round status required some subtle tweaks to the label design and packaging.  The brewery brought back original artist Devin Watson to reinvigorate his original design, adding more color and design elements. 

“We also decided to go with wrapped 6-packs of 12-ounce cans rather than 4-packs of 16-ounce cans” Trogner said. “The new packs really pop out on the shelves, and the design is fun and whimsical. 

The brewmaster said it was a tough decision to pick which of Tröegs’ should go year-round. 

“In the end, we felt the packaging and flavor profile of LolliHop spoke to a larger group of beer drinkers and provided distinct differentiation from Perpetual IPA,” he noted. “It’s also one of our most asked about and top-rated beers on social media sites.”

Annual hop selection trip is crucial to the success of LolliHop and our other hop-forward beers. The company goes to Yakima Valley in Washington state every year to make sure it gets the right hops for its beers — not only from a flavor and aroma standpoint but also consistency. 

“To us, it’s the most important ingredient selection we do. We have so many hop-forward beers, so the stakes are high,” Trogner said. “For LolliHop, the key is finding the right Citra hops, and we build upon that with Azacca’s bright pear and melon notes. All the hops are great, but it’s about finding the right hops for our specific beers.”

The rise of small-batch malting in Pennsylvania has helped Tröegs establish relationships with a few local farms and maltsters, allowing it to include some local flavor. 

“For LolliHop’s malt bill, we use a portion grain that’s grown, harvested, and malted right here in Pennsylvania,” Trogner said. “Ten years ago, we couldn’t have done that because production just wasn’t there yet. We like to use local ingredients because we can easily get out and try them. We really do dig getting in the fields and tasting the ingredients and using them in beer.”

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