Street | Drinks

Drinks: Triumph Brewing Company and The Alchemist & Barrister

Triumph Brewing Company

I walked into Triumph Brewing Company and asked for their most popular drink.

“It’s beer,” the bartender told me. “Lots of beer.”

So I ordered beer. Lots of beer. The sampler came as eight five-ounce glasses of Triumph-brewed goodness. It seemed like every type of beer that I had ever heard of was on tap that night. Options included the Honey Blonde, Amber Ale, Vienna Lager, Oatmeal Stout, Bengal Gold India Pale Ale, Abbey Trippel and Holy Smoke.

I eliminated the Holy Smoke — with a taste so smoky I had to chase it with water to suppress my coughs. The Oatmeal Stout was a bit too heavy. For me, the standout was the Bengal Gold India Pale Ale. I got a pint.

It was everything that I wanted and more — the ideal beer to sip while catching up with a new friend on a warm day. It starts out sweet and fresh, then the taste gets especially hoppy, even a little bitter — a beer girl’s beer. The Bengal Gold IPA is fruity and goes down easy and — for those who care — 6.3% ABV. It is, in short, a pleasant beer for a pleasant spring day.

Beer sampler, $9

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The Alchemist & Barrister 

When I sat down at the Alchemist & Barrister’s cozy bar, I looked at everybody around me. It was early in the afternoon, and they were all drinking beers I was familiar with: a Bud, a Sierra Nevada, something that resembled a Corona. All were brands I had tasted before.

I asked the bartender for a brew more unique to Alchemist & Barrister’s bar, and he suggested the meads. A meadnewbie myself, I was surprised when the glass of B. Nektar Orange Blossom came chilled.

Going in for my first try, I noticed it smelled especially like oranges and honey. When I tasted it though, it was far less orange and far more honey. Sweeter than any alcoholic drink I have had before, the mead went back easy despite its boozy roots — it’s 14% ABV. Only after a couple sips did I notice the oaky taste — and I welcomed the surprise.

I am not a mead head, so I cannot compare my chilled glass of B. Nektar Orange Blossom to other brews, but in comparison to any Beast from the Street or a bottle of wine from Varsity Liquors, the mead wins hands-down.

B. Nektar Orange Blossom mead, $9

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