Less than 3 weeks after Red Tank’s launch, a new brewery opened in Red Bank, this time an addition to a well-known family: Triumph Brewing. It’s been an event long in the making and I was surprised that it opened quietly, without much fanfare, on a Monday in early November 2018. I had the pleasure of going there in just their second day and was really impressed!
I’ve been a fan of their other two locations, in Princeton and New Hope, for a long time. It’s one of the rare NJ breweries that also have a restaurant, but that comes at a price: Due to NJ’s arcane prohibition laws, breweries that serve food can’t sell beer outside of the establishment. However, you can still get growler refills. What I liked about the other 2 places is that they have a great atmosphere and the food is very good, making them a family-friendly dinner destination. Plus, the beer is also awesome!
The Red Bank location is on Bridge Ave in the West Side Lofts, almost across from the Galleria. I think many restaurants opened and closed in the Galleria in the years since construction on Triumph started. It has the same decor as Princeton and New Hope, and it’s just as big, with a huge floor area and a nice second floor. Like New Hope, it also has a cool outside seating area but we’ll have to wait till spring to enjoy that.
Besides the fact that there was no buzz around the opening, I was surprised to see how empty it was. Seems like very few people found out so far that it’s been open (even if for just 2 days). I bet once the rumor spreads, it will soon become packed, especially on weekends.
So here are the few beers I tasted on my first visit:
- New England IPA – very good hazy NE-style IPA at 6.5%, with a lot of hopiness and subtle fruity aromas.
- Bengal Gold IPA – my favorite at every Triumph brewery, a great blend of hops and strong flavors at 6.8%.
- Helles Bock – less bitter than a lager but still with a full-bodied aroma, it packs a lot of punch at 7.9%, a great dinner beer.
- Zitronenweizen – a light and very refreshing hefeweizen, easy to drink and only 5.3%. A nice lemon flavor as well.
It looks like the same offering as their other two breweries, and they make for now 11 beers, which also include lagers, amber ale, porter and stouts, so there’s a lot of variety for everyone.
Besides the beer, I always loved the food in the other two places, and it seems that Red Bank is up to the same standards. Dinner was amazing, even if there’s not a full menu yet. But expect that to grow in the following weeks. Even my picky kids loved it, which is important so it becomes a family destination, as opposed to most other breweries which are more like bars for the beer connoisseurs. Just keep in mind that for now it opens at 4pm, so lunch is out.
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