I stopped in the Triumph site on Chestnut Street last night on my way to the Michael Jackson dinner at Monk's Cafe; Jay Misson told me to drop by and see the place. I found free on-street parking on 2nd St. -- Hooray for Sunday! -- and walked on up to the unlocked door. Plenty of construction clutter, and a stairwell full of scaffolding...
"Jay!" I bellowed, "It's Lew Bryson!"
"Come on up," said a voice from overhead, "we're drunk!"
Jay was exaggerating, but they -- himself, two particularly motivated staffers (top pic, flanked by the two staffers), and brewer Patrick Jones (that's him in the picture below, in front of the brewery) -- were drinking, the lucky boogers: Bengal IPA, Oatmeal Stout, and Kellerbier (the beer must have come in from New Hope: brewing at the Center City site is still waiting on gov't approval). Jay fixed me up with a delish IPA right away, and we took a look around.
If you've seen the other two Triumphs in Princeton and New Hope, there's a definite similarity...but there's a definite difference, too. Triumph Center City is more industrial/tech look, but with the familiar vertical spaces and curves. I think the upstairs lounge is going to be my pick, assuming it's not stuffed with hipsters.
He took me down and showed me the draught system: wow. Extremely flexible and advanced, allowing for quick keg-off when the tanks get low. There's a couple spaces in the back bar for casks to go on dispense (lager and ale, I strongly suspect), and a finely designed malt handling system. Lots of thought went into this place.
Jay's still saying end of the month for a soft opening. I asked him how he was handling the pressure of opening across Chestnut St. from the self-proclaimed "King" of Philadelphia craft beer (see above). He didn't seem to be overly concerned.
Now...I did hear a rumor at the Monk's dinner that Triumph is already looking at another site closer to Center City Philly, three or four blocks east of Monk's. Interesting...