A local Triumph

Triumph Brewing Company is known for its house-brewed craft beers. Now it’s going local in a big way.

If you’ve dined at Triumph’s New Hope restaurant you may have noticed a “Home Grown” menu that they have offered for the past couple of years, separate from their regular menu. The menu draws upon the bounty of Bucks and nearby New Jersey farms. All of that is about to change. The majority of the regular menu will now be sourced from regional farmers and producers, many of them within 25 miles of the restaurant.

“We’ve always been locally involved. We want to support local businesses and be active in our communities,” explains general manager Paul Foglia, when I asked the reason for the major shift. “What better way than to involve food?”

The quality of the product, too, is another big reason. “When I was executive chef I’d often pull some money from the till and go over to the local farmers’ market to buy produce for the restaurant. The quality was so much better.”

The intent (with the Home Grown menu) was always to flip the menu and move to all local sources. But they needed time to adapt, find local sources and learn how to order product. The new menu will be smaller than the previous regular menu but will still include the standards – like their great burgers, or Caesar salad – but made with locally sourced ingredients. For instance, the parmesan cheese in the salad will be replaced by New Jersey’s Valley Shepard Creamery’s trioche cheese.

“It doesn’t have to be exotic, or haute cuisine,” says Nick Devine, regional chef for Truimph’s three locations. “What we’re after is rustic craft food. Simplicity – letting the food speak for itself.” Most dishes will only have 4 -5 components, like a salad with heirloom tomatoes, peppercress, goat cheese and a basil vinaigrette. “The focus will be on local – if we can get organic and sustainable too, it will be a bonus,” explains Devine. Availability has increased greatly in the past two years, he adds, and it’s been easier to get product. “Local” is also being defined as regional – meaning the East Coast. But the goal is to come in closer, getting ingredients within 100 miles or less.

“Working with just seasonal and just local can be more challenging,” says Tony Sauppe, executive chef at the New Hope restaurant, “but I like it. I can be more creative. It’s a simpler plate too. You can taste the food for what it is.” Triumph will source much of its produce using Zone 7, a local food distributor that gets product from small farmers into the hands of chefs in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. They have also been using River & Glen, a distributor of sustainably raised fish and meats located in Warminster. Right now, they are pulling in produce, cheese, poultry, meat, eggs and grains from almost three dozen producers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Triumph is best known for its hand-crafted beers. Each location – Princeton, New Hope and Philadelphia – has its own brewer and the beer is brewed onsite. At any given time there are seven house-made beers on tap, including one that is hand-pumped, straight from the basement, and one seasonal beer – like Raspberry Wheat beer this month. “We’ve always cared about quality ingredients,” explains Foglia. “If we are making Munich lager, we pull the grain from Munich.” Now the challenge is how to make all aspects of the business local, says Foglia. They have just started serving local wine and eventually want to source all of their wine regionally. Also in the plans is a mixed drink menu that will be locally driven too. They are even recycling their cooking oil with local company, Bucks County Freedom Fuel, which converts the oil into fuel for the tractors used on several local farms.

What can you expect on the new menu? Well, it will change weekly, as different seasonal product becomes available. Popularity will affect it too. “We may run out of a dish if it’s really good,” says Devine. “But that’s okay.” The menu includes small plates, salads, entrees and sandwiches. The cheese board really caught my attention – it’s some of the best local cheese -Valley Shepard Oldwick Shepherd, Cherry Grove Lawrence Jack, Valley Shepard Trioche, Terhune Orchards golden delicious apple, Blooming Glen onion-blackberry jam, Phillips Farm white peach mostarda, raw almond, and truffle honey ($12). Even the nachos have a local spin made with black beans, Pineland Farms grass-fed beef short rib ragout, Terhune Orchards poblano cream, Flaim Farm pickled long hots, Jersey fresh spiced tomato, Grafton Village cheddar fondue, and house made creme fraiche ($8). Or how about a beet salad ($5), made with Marolda Farm beet, Phillips Farm blackberry, Terhune Orchards golden delicious apple, Jasper Hill Bayley Hazen blue cheese, and Blue Moon Acres provencal mix ($5/10)? For entrees, choose from Eden Farms pork tenderloin, Captain Greg Yakatat king salmon, Breakaway Farms chicken, House made fettuccine with Davidson exotic mushroom ragout, Pineland Farms grass-fed strip steak, Fish and chips with Captain Greg Yakatat halibut, Flaim Farm eggplant with Jersey tomatoes and Flint Hill Farm goat mozzarella, and Dayboat “Miss Molly”striped bass ($16 – 23). Sandwiches include the Triumph burger, duck tacos, chicken salad, beef tenderloin sliders, smoked salmon BLT, turkey melt, cheese panini, and veggie burger ($10 – 13). And a Monday through Friday Happy Hour from 5 pm to 7 pm that features all small plates for half price.

Plans are in the works to introduce new menus at both their Philadelphia and Princeton locations. And I like what Triumph has to say about how they’ve gotten to this point,

For the past 3 years Triumph Brewing Company of New Hope has utilized local, regional and sustainable ingredients on our Home Grown menu. Working with local and regional farms, cheese artisans, and butchers gave us some of the best quality food that we have ever seen and tasted. Continuing with this endeavor, Triumph has committed itself to providing local and sustainable food to its customers. Therefore, we have decided to change the majority of our menu to all local, regional, and sustainable items. A lot of your favorites still remain, the products have just traveled less to get here. Enjoy!

Or as chef Nick Devine says, “We’re not doing this to be trendy. We just want it to be good.”

Triumph Brewing Company
400 Union Square Drive
New Hope, PA 18938

Triumph Brewing Company on Urbanspoon

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