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Dampf Loc - Local Option

Not Rated.
Dampf LocDampf Loc

Educational use only; do not reuse.

36 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 36
Hads: 159
Avg: 3.75
pDev: 28.8%
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: 36 | Hads: 159
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 StonedTrippin
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
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 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 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 TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
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 TheManiacalOne
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
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 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 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 superspak
3.9/5  rDev +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 mdfb79
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
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 chinchill
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
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 smakawhat
3.96/5  rDev +5.6%
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 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 LiquidAmber
3.99/5  rDev +6.4%
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 pat61
4.21/5  rDev +12.3%
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 avalon07
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
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 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 elNopalero
3.99/5  rDev +6.4%
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 crossovert
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
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 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 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 Ozzylizard
3.79/5  rDev +1.1%
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 SLeffler27
3.96/5  rDev +5.6%
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 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 Brutaltruth
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
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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Dampf Loc from Local Option
84 out of 100 based on 36 ratings.