To start off New Years Day, 2012, visited Philadelphia’s TRIUMPH BREWING ‘round noon. Located at the Olde City district just up the street from Penn’s Landing near the banks of the Delaware River in a former paper mill, this pleasantly rustic restaurant-bar had a looser atmosphere than Triumph’s New Hope and Princeton franchises.

Opened April 2007, the red-bricked neighborhood bar (with beige window frames and door) features a 15-seat right side bar, private white-walled booth, small rear stage and left side dining area with neo-mod ‘60s wood furnishings. Upstairs, the wood-floored space has a banquet room, glass-encased business room, 8-seat metal bar and silver brew tanks.

 Both TV’s at the bar had the Eagles-Redskins football readied as I consumed a few previously untried libations. Winter Bock, a higher octane version of Old City Lager, scattered sourdough yeast atop herbal-tinged lemon rot, clover-honeyed orange tartness and boozy Courvoisier illusions, receiving an ancillary Extra Special Bitter-like fig-date astringency after a few sips.

Dry-bodied Holiday Ale- Cask brought wafting peat to soft fig-cherry acridity and hop-oiled roasted chocolate. Briskly carbolic Unfiltered Helles layered mildly astringent corn-soaked yellow fruiting over soft grained breading.

Seasoned beer drinkers may lean towards Rauchbier, a perfume-wafted, beechwood-smoked German-styled dry body topped with a sharply hop-spiced pepperoni pizza crusting that’s perfect complementing barbecued meat dishes. Others may reach for the less astringent Irish Red, with its stoned-fruited orange tang overlaying wheat-husked cereal graining and recessive caramel nuttiness.


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