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Monday, March 12, 2007

Triumph Philly: a pre-opening visit

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...


Loren said...

You had an IPA first, and NOT a Kellerbier?!?!

For shame. I think Joe Sixpack got to 'ya.


Lew Bryson said...

Hey, when someone's the size of Jay Misson, and HE'S pouring...I take what's offered.

Anonymous said...

Who needs six more average beers? These brew pubs are all the same...boring

Lew Bryson said...

Who needs one more Anonymous poster. These Anonymous posters are all the same...

So: fair judgment on my part? How about yours?

Jay Misson said...

Six more average beers?

To anonymous:

Sounds like you have never been to one of our places. Please give us a fair chance. I would be happy to show you around personally. FYI, we are currently aging a Tripel.

We are also opening with 8 beers on draft, not 6.

I think you may be pleasantly suprised.

The official public opening will be Thursday, April 6th. Please ask for Patrick or myself and we will be glad to show you around, but if your looking for more than 50 Ibu's, sorry, can't help ya out there.

Sexyredkid said...

You mean to tell me that your not gonna have an enamel scraping hop bomb beer on tap? What will the masses think?

The opening is Wednesday April 4, 2007 at 5pm. It was moved up because Jay and Patrick's beers are so good it wasn't fair to withhold them from the public.

Lew Bryson said...

Early opening? Just remember folks: always a good idea to call ahead!

Jim Calbi said...

To Anonymous:

It's obvious you haven't been to the other locations cuz their German Pils, Czech Pils, Winter Bock, Roggenbock, Maibock, Jewish Rye, Abbey Trippel etc. are far from average.

Anyone who can brew lagers like they do are far from average.

Yes, I am a huge fan.