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Dampf Loc - Local Option

Not Rated.
Dampf LocDampf Loc

Educational use only; do not reuse.

38 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 38
Hads: 161
Avg: 3.75
pDev: 28%
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: 38 | Hads: 161
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 -1.3%
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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Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy pale yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high dense off white head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a thick collar around the edge of the glass. The head has good retention properties and never completely faded away.
S: Light to moderate aromas of grainy malts are present in the nose along with notes of bready and nutty malts.
T: Much like the smell, the taste is quite malty and tastes like an artisan bread with complementary flavors of multi-grain bread and hints of nutty and toasted malts as well as earthy and doughy yeast. No hops are perceptible, but they mask any associated sweetness from the malts.
M: It feels a bit shy of being medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I've never tried a "Dampfbier" before, but this seems to be an interesting and unique German style. It's quite malty but doesn't seem heavy on the palate and as a result is rather drinkable.

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Photo of Florida9
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Publican.

Clear gold in color. Served with a sizable foamy white head that reduced fairly quickly to a thick, stable surface coating. Lots of lacing. Aroma is of toasts and nuts with a perceptible bitterness that seems out of place. Taste is heavy on the toast, toasted grains, and wood. Maybe a little bready, with some grassy hops on the tail end. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation and a mild mix of bitterness and astringency. Overall a good beer (and one that I've never come across) that paired well with the Publican's meaty offerings.

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Photo of Treebs
3.66/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle served in a Stone imperial pint glass. Picked up at the local Binny's.

A: Pours a burnt caramel-like color with a semi hazy body and dark amber edges. A one finger off-white head forms on the pour and slowly recedes to a thin film and a slightly thicker collar. Clingy and soapy waves of lace are left down the glass.

S: Light citrus notes are present with a slight nutty malt body and small yeast finish.

T: The malted barley body is present right up front and is slightly oaty, as well as nutty, in nature. A hint of toasted malts come through in the front. Light weisse yeast and a mild hop presence are both noticeable as well. The is a tiny bit of citrus fruit presence that gets drawn out at the end.

M: Medium to light bodied with ample carbonation. The finish is slightly dry and malty. Very drinkable.

O: Is this a nice representation of the Bavarian peasant ale? I don't know, but it was good. I can definitely pick out the weisse yeast used and I think it's a nice touch. Definitely drinkable. I would obviously choose much more flavorful brews given the opportunity, but it was a nicely crafted beer.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.66/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From: Binny's, Schaumburg, IL
Date: None on bottle
Glass: Tulip

A somewhat unbalanced, yet mild enough beer to pull it off, Dampf Loc is substantially malty, with little hop presence. The Munich (and possibly other) malts work well as a major influence, and I never felt that there was a need for hop presence in the beer. Would I get it again? Sure, if it were in six-packs for $8. A half-liter for $5 does not make me want to revisit this beer.

Pours a 2cm tall head of slightly off-white foam, made up of small and medium-sized bubbles, giving a somewhat sponge-like appearance. Retention is average, the foam lasting about one minute in a quick decline to a thin ring around the glass and a small island of foam remaining atop the center of the beer's body. Lacing is nonexistent. Beer's body is a bright golden orange in color, with light bringing out golden yellow hues. Carbonation is visible through the transparent body, low in number and moderate in activity.

Aroma is malt-forward, mostly Munich, perhaps a bit of Vienna and pale added for complexity. Result is largely of slightly toasted, full-bodied brown bread crusts. Little hop presence, the result being a sweet and bread-like aroma.

Front of palate is full of toasted bread crust sweetness, with hints of light caramel. Mid-palate experiences continued malt characters of toasted bread crusts, light caramel sweetness, and very mild, clean hop bitterness lingering in the background. Back of palate is, as expected, of toasted bread crusts, light caramel, and a modest amount of toasted nuts. Aftertaste of lingering toasted bread crusts, lightly sweet caramel, and very faint bitterness.

Beer is medium-light to light in body, with carbonation of medium intensity, resulting in a beer that is foamy, then smooth on the palate. Closes dry, with substantial stickiness remaining on palate.

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Photo of emerge077
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dampf Loc is a revival of a lesser known and virtually extinct Bavarian style, Dampfbier. "It is warm-fermented with Weissbier yeast at a temperature above 70°F (21°C)" ...more info can be found here: http://www.germanbeerinstitute.com/Dampfbier.html

Into a large tapered mug the beer pours a deep saturated sunset orange color. Long lasting head of white foam that leaves sudsy lace all around the glass.

Toasted grain aroma, some caramel, and light fruitiness from the weizen yeast i'm guessing.

Earthy bitter aftertaste, very malt forward upfront with more toasted grain and husky grains in the middle. Effervescent feel, fairly light bodied and quaffable. Seemingly simple, but with enough nuance to keep things interesting. Would like to try on tap for comparison...

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Photo of Rifugium
3.52/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Interesting beer to see in my area. Kind of wish I brought my Local Option cervoise #properglassware to the bar with me, but oh well. Poured a darker amber color, more deep than hazy, with a small but firm cap of white head, that retained well and left spots of lacing on the glass. Malty sweet aroma, toasted grains, caramel, fruity esters. Sweet caramel malts were in charge again on the palate, toasted bread crusts, a little buttery, hops very mild and somewhat fruity/floral. I don't know...seemed a bit off-balance to me. There was a crispness to the mouthfeel that typically comes from the hops in a beer, but in this one, I just didn't get very much hoppiness in the flavor. Light-medium body. Not really bad overall, but just seemed somewhat off to me.

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Photo of NewGlarusFan
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a pint glass

A) Murky yellowish brown color, two finger head.

S) yeast, malt, bread, no hop character what so ever

T) malty, toast, biscut, lager yeast

M) Crisp medium carbonation, no sting, light body, near smooth

O) it is a good beer for summer!

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.49/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Slight chill haze on an orange-tinged gold color. Head is small, bubbly, and bright-white. Lively carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Pale malt sweetness. A hint of wheat with a mild cracker snap in the back. Lightly bready with a small citrus hop element. Clean. Lightly floral. Super mellow and easy. A hint of apple skin. Some mild fruity esters and a clean yeast.

Taste: Light malty sweetness. Clean pale malts. Slight push of fruity esters. Lightly toasted with some undercooked bread. Hops are leafy with a small citrus and herbal push. Clean yeast. Slight smack of something like wheat on the finish. A touch of caramel sweetness as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light body. Moderate carbonation. Clean and slightly crisp.

Overall: It could see regular rotation.

The better of the two beers I picked up from Local Option. Nice and clean and easy. Unexciting, but that's ok.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.45/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A very rustic and charming beer with a quirky flavor spread and intriguing balance. Harking back to one of the truly American styles of beer that feuled the thrist for venturers of the west coast gold rush.

Pouring a bright yet light copper color and with the mildest of haze, the beer's ample carbonation builds a light, fluffy off white head that retains the session and laces significantly.

A mix of malt and grain fill the nose like only barley can. Mild caramel and bread/bread crust notes round out the scent of freshly kilned barley malt. Lightly nutty, fruity, and grassy notes emit from the hop and yeast culmination. Quite appetizing with a mild grain-tart notion.

The partly malt, partly grain balance plays out with a thin caramel taste with the crust of light breads and husk-like grain character. Hopped to balance with the early taste of herbal grasses, but developing toward a woody or 'twig-like' bitterness in finish. Even a note of mint rises as the taste of alcohol weaves into aftertaste. The strain that's put on the yeast allows for a slight fruity note under the surface along with the mild richness of butter and corn.

Medium bodied, but perhaps a bit light when compared to modern day Pale Ales. The sprite carbonation delivers a crisp and refreshing feel. Once subsided, the mid palate carries a light grain character with mild slickness into the finish of mild minty cooling/warming and slight astringency of grain husk and acidity.

The historic hybrid beer calls out all of the acceptable descriptors that the style allows and does so with surprising balance. But there's a reason why today's Pale Ales have gained traction and why California Commons have faded into novelty. I appreicate the flavors of this beer if only for the quirky charm of retrospective nostalgia.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

On-draught at Local Option. Notes below are truncated due to the review environment.

A: Head is Off-white, with about 2cm of width. Average characteristics. No lacing. 1.5 minute retention.

Body is a translucent albeit murky pale copper of below average vibrance. No yeast is visible within.

Looks oddly unfiltered for a steam beer...

Sm: Hefeweizen-esque clove and banana manifest, probably from the yeast. Light malts and general malt sweetness are all I pick up elsewise.

Aromatic intensity is average. Neither hoppy nor yeasty.

T: Grass, clove, faint banana, neutral American malts. Unbalanced but not imbalanced. Decently built. Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour.

Not intricate/complex, subtly executed, or nuanced. Quite generic.

Mf: Smooth, wet, somewhat refreshing, Overcarbonated. Average thickness and heft. Medium-bodied. There's no harmony of texture and taste here.

O: Oddly German in its leanings, but not to its benefit. It's a drinkable little steam beer but never nails the style. Quite forgettable stuff from Local Option. I always like seeing more steam beers on the market, but this isn't particularly impressive.


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Photo of QueerBeer
2.7/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Wasn't sure what to expect from this as I was unfamiliar with the term 'dampfbier' until now. Wasn't a good sign when I uncapped it and it immediately foamed over. After the overactive effervescence dissipated quite quickly, it's a pretty good-looking beer. Nice medium amber, opaque but no haze. Didn't get a lot on the aroma, so can't comment there. But the taste really did not do it for me. Everything about this beer was mild to the point of bland except the metallic aftertaste. Combine that with a dry finish, and I wasn't all that thrilled.

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Dampf Loc from Local Option
84 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.