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THE HOP STOPS: Eulogy Belgian Tavern, Triumph Brewing Company & The Khyber

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This week, The Hop Stops makes a few pit stops in Old City for some of the best brews the City of Brotherly Love has to offer. And the best part about it -- you don't have to stumble too far to get from one to the other. Cheers! Eulogy Tavern

Eulogy Belgian Tavern

136 Chestnut St.

(215) 413-1918

eulogybar.server101.com

I've been to Eulogy plenty times before, but on one bar-hopping occasion for a friend's birthday I saw a sign out front that truly summed up what one can always expect. The chalkboard, sidewalk sign read "Drink Good Beer Here" and had an arrow leading up the steps. With more than 300 bottled beers on its menu (it's like six pages worth of beer listings in size 8 font), there's no wonder Eulogy bills itself as a Belgian beer heaven. Yep, I could die here. And my last meal would be delicious -- a big pot of moules soaked in, well, beer and frietjes, the traditional Belgian fare also known as mussels and fries.

 Eulogy isn't a secret to city-dwellers, whether they're there for the food or the drink. Most nights you may end up waiting for a table which means elbowing your way to the bar or standing in the way of the servers. The place, even though it's two stories, isn't all that big. Tables are reserved for diners up until a certain point, so you might as well grab some dinner while you're here. Other Belgian offerings are the fish and chips, bratwurst, a sausage trio, or a chicken thigh stew called waterzooi. Depending on where you find a place to sit (or stand) the beer offerings on tap are different for both upstairs and down. The Robust Blonde with 6.5 percent ABV is brewed in Belgium exclusively for Eulogy so you don't want to miss that one. Other drafts include Stone's Arrogant Bastard Ale, Chimay Cinq Cents, Rodenbach Classic, Gulden Draak, and Tripel Karmeliet and they range from a sissy 4 percent ABV (actually that's about par for normal beers) to 14 percent ABV for the Austrian Samichlaus, a rare brew only made once a year and aged for 10 months before bottling. One of the best parts about Eulogy is you'll never run out of beers to try or know how saucy you're going to get while putting them back. The menu looks like an Excel spread sheet, listing the beers in alphabetical order, with columns for the ounces, the price, the ABV, the style and the country of origin. Just close your eyes, take your finger and point. Triumph

Triumph Brewing Company

117 Chestnut Street

(215) 625-0855

http://www.triumphbrewing.com/indexSPLASH.html

Depending on if you make Eulogy your first or second stop on a mini-pub crawl, you may be stumbling instead of strolling across the street to Triumph. Either way, you need to make it here somehow. Triumph in Philadelphia is the third brew pub opened up by Triumph Brewing Company, followed by ones in New Hope, Pa. and also Princeton, N.J. If you've been to the other two, you know what you're going to get when coming to the Old City location -- delicious original beers brewed on the premises and some damn good fresh food - The calamari is awesome to start with and their burgers are always great, as well as the hand-made chips. Other ever-changing offerings include (most recently) lamb sliders, chickpea fries, a Mediterranean spread for apps, falafel and lobster rolls sandwiches, and for dinner - seared tuna or double cut pork chops, to name a few.

Each Triumph varies slightly, including the decor, the menu, the beers on tap and even the crowd. But that's what keeps you from getting bored of any one location. And if you’re really ambitious and have a DD you could hit up all three in one day. The one in Old City has two stories, with a bar on each, a semi-swanky interior and a view of the brewing process. On tap at Triumph in Philly is the Helles Lager, Kinder Pils, Snakebite, Amber Ale, Munich Dunkel, Irish Dry Stout, Stike Altbier and Bengal Gold IPA. Don't be surprised if the kegs have been kicked on one and they replaced it with something else delicious. If you don't know which one to try you can try them all - Triumph offers a sampler of six baby beers. It's also a place to see or hear some live entertainment - usually on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays there's either a band or a DJ. They offer tours every Saturday at 1 and at 3 p.m. And if you're unwilling to part with their tasty brews, well, you don't have to. They have growlers to sell or to refill depending on if you're a returning customer. A half gallon goes for $10 plus a $3 deposit, and they're also selling five gallon kegs if you're really, really thirsty. The Khyber

The Khyber

56 2nd St.

(215) 238-5888

www.thekhyber.com

For those headed to the Khyber, they're probably not setting out on the mission of getting a great beer here. Music is what drives the scene and it's been like that since it started having rock shows in the '60s, but why not combine the best of both worlds? The Khyber itself is over a century old, kind of dark and a little gritty inside. But that's part of its charm. It's practically the complete opposite of its normal Old City surroundings. If you're a broke punk surviving on mostly forties or 30 packs of some "ice" beer, you might be surprised at what's on tap: Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye, Belhaven Scottish Ale, Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, Founders Centennial IPA, Franziskaner Hefe Weiss, He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny DIPA, Long Trail Imperial Porter, Smuttynose Star Island Single, Terrapin Rye IPA, Troeg's Dead Reckoning and Yards IPA.

Some of the bottled beers are a little closer to what you'd expect to get at a cheap rock show like Bud, Bud Light, Miller Light, PBR and the Champagne of Beers - Miller High Life. But there's also some classier choices like Red Stripe, Newcastle, Sierra Nevada, Victory Golden Monkey, La Fin Du Monde, Duchesse de Bourgogne and blue and red label Chimays Get there before a show and from 5 to 7 p.m. you can soak up Happy Hour - $2 pints of Kenzinger, $1 for domestic bottles, $2 off all other drafts, and $1 off everything else. Monday nights offer karaoke and there's bands playing literally every night of the week. While most of them are the "up and comings" you might be able to catch some bigger named bands every once in awhile, or at least tributes to them.