HERSHEY, Pa. — One of Tröegs Independent Brewing's most popular offerings will return to the shelves next month.
Mad Elf, the Hershey brewer's iconic holiday ale, is celebrating its 20th release this year, Tröegs said Monday.
Back in the fall of 2002, Tröegs co-founding brothers Chris and John Trogner hatched a plan to brew a big, festive Belgian-style ale with cherries and honey to enjoy over the holidays.
Little did they know that the beer would help put their brewery on the map and – two decades later – become a beer that is synonymous with the holiday season.
“Mad Elf captures so many things about the holidays for so many people,” said Chris Trogner. “And not just beer lovers. A lot of people who typically don’t drink beer have a special connection with Mad Elf.”
The essence of this once-a-year holiday ale, along with its ruby red glow, is born from five varieties of tree-ripened cherries. Bing, Lambert, Van, and Royal Ann contribute a bright and juicy sweetness, and Montmorency adds a touch of tartness.
In addition to cherries, Pennsylvania honey is the other key ingredient in Mad Elf. Each year, Tröegs sources 25,000 pounds of local wildflower honey from The Happy Beekeeper in nearby Carlisle.
Whether it’s the beer’s festive nature, nostalgia, decadence, flavors or whimsy, many fans feel Mad Elf captures the holiday season in a glass.
“We like to say that it’s not the holidays until you’ve had your first Mad Elf,” adds John Trogner.
Mad Elf is available in 12-oz. cans and bottles at the brewery and throughout Pennsylvania starting this week, and everywhere else Tröegs beer is sold over the next few weeks. Look for Mad Elf on draft beginning in mid-November.