Deciding to switch things up from my stand-by Old City pub Eulogy, I wandered into Triumph Brewing Company last night. I enjoyed it like I secretly enjoy newly constructed houses; there is a shiny newness, lots of space and nothing too strange lurking around the next corner. Triumph manages to offer many of the perks of larger bars while still avoiding feeling too impersonally corporate (as in Public House or Fox & the Hound).
The beer was good. The list of seven or so beers changes very frequently, according to our friendly bartender. I opted for the "Scotch Ale," a dark ale with caramel sweetness and a rich aftertaste that instantly warmed me. My companion went with the novelty beer, Jewish Rye. A lighter beer, described as "unfiltered," it tasted otherwise normal until your tastebuds are hit full on with a caraway, sourdough after taste. I don't know how, or why really, they did it, but it's a dead ringer for rye bread. I was not a huge fan, but I will say it was different. I stuck with the Scotch Ale for the second round, while my co-drinker ordered Triumph's IPA, which I wish I had ordered. It was amber color and conveyed what I thought was an interesting spiciness, an almost exotic flavor, that avoided tasting very heavy while still being complex. Excellent.
I went on to order the fig and serrano pizza, which I believe is similar in concept to other dishes out there at places like Tria and Amada. On principle, a great flavor combination. In practice, Triumph became a bit too liberal with the fig jam that formed the basis for the pizza, rendering the whole taste less delicate than it should have been. We were told that the menu just underwent a major change, so perhaps some tweaking will be done.
Overall, a nice alternative to some of the smaller bars.
Triumph Brewing Company is located at 117-121 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. Brewery tours are available on-site. Photo credit to Triumph's website at www.triumphbrewing.com.