Dampf Loc
Local Option

Dampf LocDampf Loc
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
California Common / Steam Beer
Ranked #26
ABV:
5.3%
Score:
83
Ranked #38,355
Avg:
3.68 | pDev: 13.59%
Reviews:
43
Ratings:
171
From:
Local Option
 
Illinois, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  9
Gots
  11
SCORE
83
Good
Dampf LocDampf Loc
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 171 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheManiacalOne:
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

Apr 13, 2014
More User Reviews:
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dannyvee from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

Mar 23, 2013
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Sammy from Canada

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Aug 29, 2013
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ejimhof from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +8.7%

Sep 23, 2014
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Gagnonsux from Texas

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Sep 22, 2013
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golf4collet from West Virginia

4.09/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nov 01, 2019
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage from Illinois

3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Jun 07, 2013
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whartontallboy from New York

3/5  rDev -18.5%

Jan 21, 2012
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Feb 08, 2012
Photo of emerge077
emerge077 from Illinois

3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
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...

Mar 04, 2012
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ILiveOffHops from New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Jun 16, 2014
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brandoman63 from Illinois

4/5  rDev +8.7%

Mar 31, 2013
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hunteraw from China

4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Feb 26, 2015
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biegaman from Canada

3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dampf Loc isn't the kind of beer to light any sparks on first impression; a fairly dull tone of golden-amber, it's mired with yeast sediment and has a head that looks like soap scuzz. Frankly, I don't even get the name (which they apparently like enough to have trademarked). Is it a pun?

While said to be inspired by Middle Ages Bavaria, the results indicate a stronger influence from that relatively new brewery on Mariposa Street in San Francisco. It's true that both medieval European peasants and gold-rush era Americans drank something called 'Steam Beer' ("Dampfbier") but the two are not the same thing. One uses a lager yeast and the other an ale strain prototypical of Hefeweizens...

And the absence of even one of banana, clove, citrus, vanilla or bubblegum in this aroma definitely rules out the latter. I could be wrong, but it doesn't smell like it. No, this bouquet shares the light fruitiness, caramelly malt and subtle woodiness of Anchor Steam, the defining example of American steam beer.

In fact, I'd wager a fresh bottle of Dampf Loc would fare quite favourably up against that California classic. This has the same kind of easy, affable drinkability and a similarly malty flavour profile that's also checked with firm (but not overt) hoppiness and mild fruit esters. I'd be curious to try them side-by-side.

Aside from the usual "brewed with the finest ingredients" claim, the label lists 'time and temperature' next to barley, hops, yeast and water. Rightfully so. These elements matter much more than the actual ingredients themselves. This keen attention to detail is reflected in the final product.

I don't know that any brewer can claim their recipe "unmistakable in character" to something from half a millennia ago that ostensibly went extinct a hundred years before they ever even touched a paddle, and I furthermore maintain that what's in the glass doesn't actually resemble the style on paper. But hey, whatever it is or was meant to be, it turned out pretty well. So by all means keep selling it.

Feb 07, 2016
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thufflife from Missouri

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Jul 28, 2014
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falloutsnow from Oregon

3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Oct 18, 2013
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Hellpop65 from Kansas

3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

Jun 15, 2014
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Burt from Rhode Island

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Sep 06, 2013
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.69/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle. Poured out a clear copper color with a small, off-white head of foam. It smelled floral with a malty/bready backbone. It tasted somewhat spicy with notes of sweet bread and caramel.

Aug 10, 2013
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metter98 from New York

3.68/5  rDev 0%
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.

Nov 23, 2013
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sneaks2210 from New York

3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

Jul 19, 2013
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MoonpieCCSD from Texas

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Dec 15, 2012
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tykechandler from Kentucky

4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wonderful. lovely sweet malt, not unlike a kellerbier, but with a lovely yeast character on the finish. i could drink this all day.

Mar 11, 2015
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gory4d from Texas

4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

Aug 09, 2012
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kaelingirl from Massachusetts

3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

Jan 20, 2014
Dampf Loc from Local Option
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 171 ratings