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Dampf Loc - Local Option

Not Rated.
Dampf LocDampf Loc

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

35 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 35
Hads: 158
Avg: 3.77
pDev: 28.91%
Wants: 8
Gots: 7 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Local Option visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
California Common / Steam Beer |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TMoney2591 on 11-24-2011

Dampf Loc is an all-barley warm fermented ale brewed by the folks from Chicago’s Local Option; inspired by “Dampfbier” (literally “steam beer”) originally crafted by medieval peasant inhabitants of southeast Bavaria. During the fermentation process generous amounts of foam and surface bubbles burst in the tank, giving the illusion that the ferment is boiling or “steaming.” Tony Russomanno and Noah Hopkins took it upon themselves to brew Dampf Loc as a modern interpretation of its Teutonic predecessor, creating a “Hefe Gerste” ale that is true to its roots; unmistakable in character yet accessible to beer drinkers of all palates.

Dampf Loc has a mild hop profile, medium body with pleasant effervescence and a clear, rich, orange hue. Dampf Loc is ideal for warm months, yet enjoyable year round.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 35 | Hads: 158
Photo of friendofbeer
4.93/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served into a standard pint glass at Green Street Smoked Meats in Chicago.

Pours with rich head, very light copper tones, ever so slightly hazy. Superb head retention. Rich fresh barley on the nose, hints of spice from hops, nutty, slightly grassy, toast notes. Medium bodied, playful and slight malt sweetness.

Have not tried too many Dampfbiers but this was an incredibly balanced, drinkable ale with tons of rich grain quality. Very glad to have had the opportunity to try this one.

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Photo of crossovert
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a Dampfbier, but not a california common, 2 waaay different styles. I've had this one on tap a few times and it is great. Got a bottle of it.

500ml bottle.

It pours slightly hazy amberish brown with a large, foamy, slightly off-white head that dissipates with nice lacing. Not as much yeast in the bottle as it could have but it is still decently cloudy.

The smell is great. Slightly tart, slightly toasty, nice lemon and fresh bread scents. Lacks a bit of yeast complexity but that is all.

The flavor is again slightly tart and super bready. There is a light toastiness and a bit of hops but not too much.

A great beer, I have actually had German Dampfbiers and this one pays tribute to the style pretty well.

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Photo of gory4d
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Mission Dolores; served in a tulip glass. It pours a dark tan with a low head, not much lacing. The smell is vegetal and malty, with some notes of stone fruit going a little sour. The taste is very nice, lots of mellow malt with a twinge of bitterness, a faint tang in the background. It's a little thick, highly carbonated. I could drink quite a bit of this in a sitting, if it were a little less alcoholic. A fine beer.

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Photo of pat61
4.21/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours hazy gold to amber under a 1” bone white cap with very fine bubbles. Produces light lace.
S: Overripe fruit aromas very faint banana, traces of caramel and berry.
T: Has a light caramel flavor with most of the sweetness fermented out backed by berry with a mild hop accent.
F: Very creamy with a medium body and fermentation.
O: They have fermented this at the higher end of the range to pull out more funky fruit flavors in a beer with moderate alcohol levels.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

we need more beer like this on the market, what a brilliant offering. copper in color, great active white head and rejuvenation ability. nose that's balanced with pale English and American malt, and west coast hops. minerally, clean, almost like a lager. the taste is fresh grains up front and balancing European style hopping on the back end. its more robust than any steam beer I have had before, more flavorful and interesting. grassy notes throughout, as well as a toasted nutty complex in the middle. still its quite light and easy drinking. medium body, very active carbonation, and crispness to the finish that maximizes refreshment. it really pepped me up this beer, impressed me. for a beer style that has been either forgotten or misinterpreted, this was really a breath of fresh air. id love to get this bottled out here in Colorado.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from the bottle in a snifter. This FINE steam lager pours a lightly hazy deep amber with a beautiful head of white foam that dissipates to a thin layer and thick ring with some stupendous lacing. A very clean nose of light caramel malts, honey suckle, light bittering hops, and moderate grain notes. Flavors surpass with a sweet honey caramel flavor that has some medium bitterness to cut through the sweetness with a light grain and sweet note on the back of the taste and a crisp finish. Begs for a plate of spicy food. Great mouth feel with moderately high carbonation finishes wet, clean, and refreshing.


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Photo of OttoPeeWee
4.06/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow this beer looks great. I don't think I have see head on a beer from the US with this much retention and "fluff". Definately smells earthy and breadlike. The taste is english malty, but with just enough hops to make it slightly more hop forward. Like an ESB with an extra kick of hops. The hops are more bitter grassy. I'm not getting much citrus. Very good beer for sure. My only gripe is the price. If the local option was within the same price as, say a distant overseas option, then I'd go with this everytime.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.99/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Pours a medium coppery amber with a half finger white head with excellent persistence and light lacing. Aroma of sweet caramel malt, nuts, mildly sweet lactic; I don't know why but this is reminiscent of a mild milk stout. Flavor is similar to aroma with sweet caramel malt, nuts, mild grassy hops, finishes more attenuated with less malt with light nuttiness and faint hops. Nice medium body with some creaminess. A quite nice take on the California common style, a bit sweeter and nuttier, which is nice for a change. The initial flavors are reminiscent of a very light brown ale. Quite quaffable and interesting. If this is faithful to the Dampfbier style, I'm surprised they are no longer around. I enjoyed this one; could be my favorite of this style so far.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.99/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Light amber, doesn’t seem to look the way I imagine steam beers looking—but that’s based on the local, trademarked steam beer out here.

The aroma has a bready crispness to it. Some light grassy notes compete with the fresh bread.
The flavor has a surprising bitterness. Again, something which I hadn’t expected but it is definitely welcome. This was a welcome surprise and one which has me rethinking my expectations of the style.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at Pizza Paradiso Dupont into a mug.

A crystal clear body, golden dark copper brown and red. Some fast rising carbonation with a fain tan off white head presented.

Nose is a little bit subdued, mild toasty crisp hints of caramel with a mild sweetness.

Toasty crisp action hits on the palate, with a large chunk of fruit esters. Caramel hinting action is subdued but carries through a little bit still maintaining some good density. Toasty sense of brown spices as well comes out which compliments nicely.

Easy drinking, and very thirst quenching. Good to know there are other Dampfbiers out there worth drinking.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear dark copper with a big, long-lasting fluffy marshmallow head that leaves a coating of lace on the pint glass.

The aroma is caramel with a light hop presence and a background of spice.

Caramel malt with some wheat bread. Overall, crisp, well balanced with a long subtle finish.

Full body with a creamy texture and soft carbonation. Residual sugar is left on the lips. Overall, dry with no presence of alcohol.

This is a good drinking beer, perhaps sessionable.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light golden brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains lager yeast, caramelized malts, some citrus and some hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of lager yeast and a hearty malt character followed by mildly sweet flavors of caramel and citrus. The hops presence is very mild but brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid lager to drink for a long time.

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Photo of creepinjeeper
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a dimpled stein.

Look - Cloudy, slightly burnt orange in color.. Cream colored head that settles into lasting lacing.
Smell - Toffee, sweet grass, wet biscuit.
Taste - All malt. Sweet wet breat.
Feel - Lots of carbonation. Takes away any flavors that might linger on the tongue.
Overall - A steady beer made for easy drinking. Glad I tried it.

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Photo of ManVersusBeer
3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cool bar, cool bottle, very metal.
A cloudy brown copper with some orange hues. Puffy, big two fingers of off-white head forms and stays with some lacing around the edges.
Smells of malt, tangy, mellow yeast, oats, and some honey flavored cheerios.
Ooh, surprisingly crisp with a good orange and peach hop character as it mixes with bites of almond biscotti and citrus rind.
Smooth like a lager and crisp like a weissbier, this is a good mix with the subtle finish of bittering hops.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle into lager glass, no bottle dating. Pours lightly hazy golden orange color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a large amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of biscuit, cracker, toast, light caramel, pear, apple, floral, grass, pepper, light nuttiness, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance of bready malt, earthy hop, and yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of biscuit, cracker, toast, nuttiness, light caramel, pear, apple, herbal, floral, grass, pepper, and yeast earthiness. Minimal earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of biscuit, cracker, toast, nuttiness, light caramel, pear, apple, herbal, floral, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and robustness of bready malt, earthy hop, and yeast ester flavors; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. A slight metallic note noticed on the finish, but not really detrimental to the flavor. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, moderately crisp, and lightly bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice steam beer style. All around good balance and robustness of bready malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

It seems the boys down at Local Option come up with some interesting beer recipes. This one, brewed at Dog Brewery in Maryland, resurrects the old German dampfbier style, similar to the American steam beer. Right on, always good to see brewing history brought to life in your own backyard.

This stuff pours a clear copper topped by a finger of dusty white foam. The nose comprises toffee, walnuts, light flowers, and very light oak. The taste holds notes of toffee, pine sap, grass, flowers, light greens, and light oak. If I were pressed to sum it up, I would call this a richer version of a pils...something like that... The body is a hefty light, with a moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a nice, unique little brew, something that goes down easy and thoroughly satisfies. It'd be great if other breweries took this style on...

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Photo of dmgeng
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I thought this beer was a hefe by mistake but since I wasn't expecting a heavy beer this one came out alright.

A - Light amber color basically a caramel that is slightly hazy. Fluffy white head that sits high. Very good lacing.

S - Malty aroma with caramel and lager notes. Also grainy tones and some noble hops. Smells like a commercial amber lager.

T - Tastes of sweet maltiness with some grain, caramel, and lager flavor. This beer takes you average "beer" and kicks it up to the next level with layers of clean and delicious flavors. Only a light bitterness and some noble hop character to balance the sweet malt character.

M - Light mouth-feel. Moderate carbonation. Only slightly sweet but very drinkable.

Overall, this one rivals Boston Lager with a similar flavor and a similar drinkability. I would strongly recommend this if you haven't gotten a chance to try a steam beer. This beer has the flavor impact of a craft ale with a smoother and crisper feel that you usually find in commercial lagers. Though you get what you pay for with this one it's still pretty good.

Glass- 20oz craft beer glass

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Photo of mdfb79
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Time to start my favorite BIF with Blind Beer #1 from Tmoney2591; thanks Kyle! Poured from what appears to be a 500ml bottle into my Duvel tulp.

a - Pours a murky, medium orange-brown color with two fingers of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks like an amber ale. 4

s - Smells of citrus hops, fruity malts, toasted malts, nuts, burnt malts, and caramel malts. Given the hops up front mixing with the malts, I'm sticking with an amber ale at this point. 4

t - Tastes of nuts, fruity malts, light citrus hops, toasted malts, caramel malts, light pine. Very nice; not quite as hoppy as the nose, but a a nice mix of hops and malts. Sticking with amber ale. 3.5

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Very smooth and creamy, and very easy to drink. Pretty great mouthfeel. 4.5

o - Overall a pretty nice beer that is very easy to drink. A nice mix of citrus hops and caramel/fruity malts. The mouthfeel is great, and the best part of the beer; no problem finishing this bottle. No clue on the specific beer but I am going to go with an amber ale around 5-6% ABV. 4

And the reveal is…Dampf Loc by Local Option. Never heard of this beer or brewery but it has a sweet ass metal label with skulls and cross bones and what appears to be a freight train from hell on it. Looks like this a California Common/Steam so 0/1 on the style, but oh well, it's a good beer. Thanks again Kyle!

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Photo of justinp444
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark straw orange yellow with a 2 and a half inch thick head. Smell of lager yeast, caramel, sweet malt, and floral. Taste is melon, caramel, citrus, some floral, big bread-y malt, and a little sweet and bitter. It has a big crisp mouth feel and a moderate to light body. Really is a style of it's own and not so much like a american steam beer.

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Photo of avalon07
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brown color and a murky, thick consistency. There was a thin, foamy head that quickly dissipated. OK lacing.

S: A very subtle aroma of malt, caramel, and a sweet fruitiness.

T: Tasted of fair amount of malt, some caramel, and an unidentifiable fruity quality. The typical steam beer flavor isn't exactly open to complexity, but this one is solidly appealing.

M: A huge amount of carbonation with a lively finish. Light-bodied.

O: While Dampf Loc is an uneven beer in some spots, it is likeable and drinkable.

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Photo of Fcolle2
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours amber in color with a 1 finger white head that has good retention

Nose has some dark fruity esters that blend into some subtle spicy phenols With a sweet Carmel malt backbone and some slight spicy hops

Taste starts with a mild fruity sweetness that is followed by a light Carmel malt and some earthy tannin's

Mouthfeel has a medium body and some good carbonation.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Undated bottle at 40 degrees into nonic
Aroma initially a quick whiff of rotting fruit esters which is thankfully replaced by a malty aroma
Head large (6 cm, aggressive pour), off white, frothy, slowly diminishing to 3 mm ring and layer
Lacing poor – few small islands of tiny bubbles
Body light yellow, slight haze
Flavor slightly malty with some hop bitterness; no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, lively carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 3.75, Flavor 3.75, Palate 4, Overall 3.75

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Photo of chinchill
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

500 ml bottle poured into lager glass. No bottle dating found. Some sediment remained stuck to the bottom of the bottle.

Pours lightly hazy, copper-orange in color. There is a lot of visible carbonation that rises to a moderate size, off-white head with good retention. Some streaks and patches of sticky lacing cling to the glass.

Aroma: Earthy and herbal hops with grains in about equal measure but with the hops a little more prominent than the malty aspects. Hints of yeast, honey and mild spices.

Taste: More malty/bready than the aroma indicates. Hints of honey and apple juice. Mild bitterness even on the finish

Feel: Medium carbonation and body, with both leaning towards a higher level. Smooth and soft.

Overall: a good beer for sure, but not as distinctive as the description (e.g., "unmistakable in character") suggests. Enjoyment increased as I headed towards the bottom of the glass. Good with food.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer pours a clear slightly dense aged copper body with a gentle sea of swirling microbubbles and a creamy light tan head that pushes above the glass and holds its shape.

S- The mineral water aroma is followed by a husky brown malt note that is very soft and pretty clean. The more it opens the more it starts to smell like iced tea.

T- The pale malt and fresh brown malt flavor has some toasted malt character with a spicy note in the finish. There is a tangy dried leaves taste that turns more into an iced tea taste with some green hop notes in the aftertaste. As the beer opens up it starts to taste more like fresh brown wort.

M- There is a medium-light mouthfeel with a gentle fizz in the finish and no alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer has an amazing head with some great fresh malt flavor but the odd iced tea and bitter green hops finish is odd and really gets in the way of the taste.

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Photo of OrestesMethuon
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A very interesting Teutonic take on a style most commonly associated with California, Dampf Loc is conceptually really good, but unfortunately—in terms of taste—it's only a good, and not a great, beer. In certain senses, this new-world concoction of the old Bavarian Hefe Gerste is reminiscent of an Altbier: turbid, brown-orange in its appearance, richly malty, and finishing with notes suffused by a slightly-acidic hoppy bitterness. The primary differences—and where there is some commonality with other steam beers I've sampled—are this beer's fundamental creaminess, its smooth but appreciable effervescence and head, and the mildness of its yeast-fruity undertones.

Though Local Option boasts it's "ideal for warm months", I'd add the caveat that it's a relative claim: good for a warm, mild Bavarian summers, perhaps, but better suited to late-spring or early-autumn in places with truly hot, boggy "warm months". All in all, however, Dampf Loc is a beer that makes one think—though I wouldn't deign to call it "challenging"—while being very drinkable, if not especially delicious; and I'll add bonus points, moreover, for all the welcome historical and contextual patter the brewery provides the drinker.

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Dampf Loc from Local Option
85 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.