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Dampf Loc | Local Option

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Dampf LocDampf Loc

Brewed by:
Local Option
Illinois, United States

Style: California Common / Steam Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by TMoney2591 on 11-24-2011

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Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 166
Photo of BeerWithMike
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampling right now on 11/12/15. Comes in a 500ml (1 pint, 0.9 ounce) bottle that I picked up in the discount bin for $3.00 last week over at the Hy-Vee in Council Bluffs, Iowa across the river. From the Pub Dog Brewing Company in Westminster, Maryland (says on side of label). Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a tall .5L handled-French Jelly glass.

Brew pours a hazy burnt-orange in color with a 1-finger creamy/foamy off-white head that finally settles down to 3mm after 20 minutes. Pencil-like streaks of lacing is seen when sipped that slowly goes back down the sides of the glass. Aroma is of sweet malts and yeast for the most part. Gonna say the taste is the same with maybe a little hint of spice. Pretty smooth finish with a sweet malty finish that is slightly dry. Don't recall having this style of brew before. Anyways, it is decent and drinkable. Medium-bodied with medium carbonation.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.66/5  rDev -2.7%
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 Treebs
3.66/5  rDev -2.7%
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 Czequershuus
4.24/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a pale copper color with a medium sized head. The aroma of fresh baked whole grain bread hits me first, followed by some peppery spice, as well as earthy and floral tones. The doughy malt and peppery spice are the star of the flavor, giving a wonderfully dry impression. The floral notes also come through on the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is full and fizzy. Overall this is a very enjoyable beer, balanced and full on pleasing flavors.

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Photo of Fcolle2
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
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 gory4d
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
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 creepinjeeper
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
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 OrestesMethuon
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
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 justinp444
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
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 dmgeng
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
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 NewGlarusFan
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
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 OttoPeeWee
4.06/5  rDev +8%
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 QueerBeer
2.7/5  rDev -28.2%
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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Photo of ManVersusBeer
3.91/5  rDev +4%
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 friendofbeer
4.93/5  rDev +31.1%
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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Dampf Loc from Local Option
3.76 out of 5 based on 166 ratings.
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