Local 1
Brooklyn Brewery

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Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Ranked #8
Ranked #2,375
4.15 | pDev: 11.57%
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States
Local 1Local 1
Notes: Brewed with German malts and hops, first-pressing Demerara cane sugar from Mauritius, and a Belgian yeast strain. 100% bottle re-fermentation; OG=18.5; AE=1.7. Classified as a "strong saison" by Garrett Oliver.
Reviews: 931 | Ratings: 2,113 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of DefenCorps
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled mid August 2018, purchased at The Market in Bantam.

A clear golden orange with a large white head with excellent retention and lacing this looks great. The nose is soft, spicy, mildly floral with a light citrus, honey, a light toasted grain, mild nutty note, a light grains of paradise note. Moderately yeasty with some and a mild bubblegum note. The palate opens mildly yeasty with spicy, mildly bubblegum like with a blend of grain, light toast, a light floral honey note and a grainy and spicy bitterness. Light cumin and grain of paradise spicy flavors, along with a faintly smoky note. Highly carbonated, this beer is light in body and mildly sweet. Effervescent, this pairs well with the festive season.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes 5/1/12: Pours a hazy gold with 1.5 inches of white, fluffy, lasting head that leaves nice lacing. Aroma is fruity and peppery. Taste is apple, pear, peach, pineapple, honey, pale malt with a low level hop presence and a dry, sweet, well maybe bittersweet finish. Alcohol while well-hidden does add a spiciness and slight, smooth warmth. It's presence does increase as the beer warms. This brew is sweet and the balance suffers some from the total lack of bitterness. Mouthfeel is light-medium with high carbonation, smooth and dry.

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Photo of HoppingMadMonk
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

At least medium body with above average carbonation.
Aroma is clove,banana, bubblegum, yeast and candi sugar
Taste is similar to aroma, nice balance between sweet and a gentle hop bite.
This was an excellent surprise that I would look to try this again

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HoppingMadMonk from New Jersey, Oct 22, 2019
Photo of RockHop
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Highly carbonated. Cork pops like a rocket. Nice malty, yeasty, estery flavor profile. Peach cobbler and apricot on the nose and tongue; changes with every sip and swirl. Spicy and prickly feel. Notes of champagne and dry finish. Deep orange/amber and gold color. Some sediment haze at the end of the bottle.

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RockHop from Massachusetts, Feb 26, 2019
Photo of hman43
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: It pours golden with very good clarity and a white head that has moderately good head retention.

Smell: There are aromas of apples with spices. There is a bit of grainy sweetness in the nose with the apples and spices. In the background there is a bit of pear and floral with some earthly elements. It is a bit grainy sweet in the flavor with pears and apples. The alcohol is noticeable with some moderate spiciness.

Feel: The carbonation is moderately high. The alcohol warmth is smooth, not hot.

Overall, this is a very estery beer with quality support from the malt and the hops.

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hman43 from North Carolina, Sep 13, 2018
Photo of teromous
3.05/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I don't see a date code but there is a number on the back: "2246"
The beer was purchased from a refrigerated room.

Appearance: The body is a hazy beige and dull orange. It has a short fluffy white head. Moderate retention.

Aroma: It has a clear Belgian yeast aroma. There are notes of grape candy and cola.

Taste: There is a sweet candy-like flavor to the beer up front and then there is a bit of clove that follows.

Mouthfeel: The beer has a very active carbonation and it feels great on the palate. It is a light beer and the beer does a superb job of hiding the "9% ALC. BY VOL." (as indicated by the label). The beer has no bitterness and that doesn't balance well against the sweetness of the beer.

Overall: In general the beer is good. It has a nice taste and it has an interesting aroma. It is pleasant to drink and it would be enjoyable to anyone who really likes Belgian-style beers. Unfortunately it also leaves much to be desired as the hops simply aren't present in the aroma, the flavor, or the mouthfeel. While I would recommend this beer to Belgian-style beer lovers I would also say that there are better domestic (U.S.) and import (Belgium) beers available. Would I drink it again? Absolutely. Would it be the first beer of this style that I reach for? No.

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teromous from Virginia, Jun 24, 2018
Photo of vette2006c5r
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Local 1 pours a hazy golden color with a huge frothy head. Full bodied aroma, hints of Belgian candy. Flavor has subtle sweet Belgian candy notes with a kick from the alcohol, and just a slight bitter finish. Good body and feel. Overall, very good well put togeter.

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vette2006c5r from Minnesota, Jun 10, 2018
Photo of Damilton5
4.79/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a amber gold color leaving a generous white foamy head that slowly recedes over the course of several minutes.

Sour front, like a decayed banana, and definitely taste Demerara. Impossibly smooth and non-boozy for the 9%ABV. And the finish is hoppy.

Mouthfeel: extremely carbonated but in a very positive way.

Would recommend to any beer-drinker. Will be enjoying again.

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Damilton5 from North Carolina, May 13, 2018
Photo of Stooven
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Finally got around to #1 having first tried (and liked) #2 probably a decade ago. Sampled in two sessions, a day apart, from a bomber into a tulip glass. (I do this often with beers whose carbonation levels are intense) My overall impression is that 'Belgian Strong Ale' is a misnomer, and the BA note that it's a 'strong saison' is far more accurate. Beyond some light fruit notes (banana, citrus), there isn't much going on here. Little aftertaste, faint sourness, it's routine. Alcohol is well hidden. Complexity is what brings me to Belgian styles, and this just doesn't do it for me.

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Stooven from Illinois, Dec 06, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. The appearance was a light hazy orange colored body with a nice foamy slightly lumpy white one finger head, some nice foamy lacing graces the sides of the glass. The smell had the Belgian yeast up front combined nicely with clove, banana and lemon. The taste was sweet with the previously mentioned flavors combining nicely. On the palate, it sat about a medium with nothing harsh on the tongue. It leaves a dry finish and a crisp sweet aftertaste. Though the ABV is fairly high, the drinkability is pretty good. I have no problem being able to finish off the rest of this bomber within a session. Overall, I would say this is a pretty good beer that I’d probably come back to.

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Photo of SQWEAK
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Not bad from NY

LOOK: Nice golden color it pours heavy on the head. I call it a foam surfer
SMELL: amazing smell has some sweet tones from the sugar cane hops are strong and airy
TASTE: smooth on the pallet definitely a throat hitter nice lingering hoppy aftertaste that stays with you.
FEEL: It's not super light beer don't let the color fool you. it's a strong body but light going down.
OVERALL: I guess the one thing I dislike was how heavy the head pours and the throat bite at the end.

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SQWEAK from North Carolina, May 14, 2017
Photo of Ozzylizard
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

$ 5.81 (Half price, including tax)/750 mL cage and cork bottle ($ 0.229/oz) at Riverside Liquors, Grand Rapids, MI.
Undated bottle at 42 degrees. Served at 50 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter. The bottle opens with a resounding “POP” and does not overflow.
Aroma – sugar, weak yeast phenolics.
Head – large (Maximum five cm, controlled pour), white, frothy bordering on fizzy. Average retention time leading to an irregular two to five mm frothy ring and thin partial layer.
Lacing – poor. A few tiny islands of tinier bubbles.
Body – light golden yellow, clear, effervescent. Subsequent pours are slightly hazy (Bottle conditioned).
Flavor – begins sweet and sugary with some weak phenolic spiciness. No malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl. As it warms in my mouth and the carbonation dies, a distinct plastic flavor arises and my tongue numbs.
Palate – medium, syrupy, fizzy.

A decent strong pale ale at even twice the price. Keep it cold so the plastic doesn’t come through.

Appearance 4, Aroma 3.75, Flavor 4.25, Palate 3.75, Overall 4.

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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania, May 04, 2017
Photo of 86sportster883
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Brilliantly clear golden body topped by a massive foamy white head. The head settles quickly to a few mm that persist. Minimal lacing.
Smell: Belgian yeast aromas dominate grainy malt and peppery esters. Light citrus without a hint of the high abv.
Taste: Clean, crisp maltiness is delicately balanced by yeast, some alcohol and mild herbal hop flavors.
MF: Medium light body with moderate carbonation makes this an easy drinker.
Overall: I really like this take on the Belgian Strong Pale style. Not boozy like some of the traditional Belgian strong pales. Very easy drinking with a deceptive kick.

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Photo of safaricook
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Golden, crystal clear, white very fine bubbled foam
not much smell to speak of. hint of banana esters and pepper
dry with a peppery finish
smooth, evervescent
great example of the style

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safaricook from Netherlands, Jan 20, 2017
Photo of 1ale_man
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml bottle to a tulip glass. Clear gold with slight haze.
Smells of citrus and green apples at first, then turns to more grassy, hay, barnyard. I really love this taste.
Feel is like chanpagne. Bubbly and fizzy.
This is a great beer. Recommend and will buy this again.

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Photo of Pundit_of_Potability
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An ale that pours a nice golden color with a decent head that dies off quickly. A little bit of lacing. If I wasn't told this was a pale ale, I'd probably say it is closer to a less carbonated La Fin Du Monde, with less bubble-gummy and banana notes. So, it comes off a little like a Tripel or a kicking Saison. There is some malty sweetness in this one as it starts, and then rolls nicely into a bitter little German hops finish. There isn't a lot of fruitiness in this one. This is about the bready yeast, the malts, caramel sugars and the German-esque hoppy finish. This almost if you mixed a Duvel with a hoppy German Pilsner with a dash of La Fin Du Monde..... And its all quite different and pleasurable at 9ABV. Not noticing the alcohol at all. This would be better with a little dryer finish (ie. a little more sizzle), but this still works and allows the ale to come off more creamy. Overall, this is quite pleasing.

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Photo of sokol_1993
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: bright yellow, with a good amount of head that lasted for quite sometimes. Lacing around the glass. Very lively, with a lot of bubbling.
Smell: Fruitiness and spicyness all around. A strong smell of alcohol too.
Taste: Very spicy upfront, with a lot of coriander, peppery taste. Then the fruitiness hit, with a some orangy taste. The last is the hoppiness, but just some bitterness, no real floral or earthy hop taste.
Feel: Full body. Very waming from the high alcohol

An excellent BSPA, a true follower of the style but even with some improvement. Beers like these always remind me why I am alive and why I should love BSPA more.

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sokol_1993 from California, Nov 27, 2016
Photo of MFMB
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a golden fizzy yellow with a huge white head. Smells of sweet malts, estery with a bit of Belgian spices. Taste of sweet grains apples and citrus and a bit of sweet candied sugar. Big Belgian yeast character on this one. Finishes extra dry and clean.

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MFMB from Idaho, Sep 25, 2016
Photo of Riff
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler glass. Pours a hazy golden yellow with a thick white head. Smells of grains and fruits with a little bread. Flavor is primarily bread with banana and a hint of pepper to it. Mouthfeel is light and very effervescent. Dry like a decent red wine. Overall a fine Belgian Strong Pale Ale.

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Riff from Virginia, Jul 18, 2016
Photo of Beginner2
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

With 921 reviews before me, I instead want, instead, to say how American crafters are developing enough self-confidence that they also can make hybrids within the Belgian tradition. (I think the Belgian yeast is harder to master than the other traditions and many mistakes are made.) Local 1 not only conquers those common mistake, but its main contribution is that it strikes a cross between a saison (spicy/fruity balance and the most food-friendly style) and a tripel (maltier, perhaps a harder-to-isolate yeast and certainly higher alcohol.)

Local 1 Looks very inviting; billowing with active, tight bubbles. It also Smells like it wants to be drunk (I obliged.) Beyond Smell, its fruity/spicy balance takes over and adds a sweetness, perhaps from the sugar and extra malt. But the Taste along with the carbonation penetrates the tongue, cleanses it and makes this a great food beer. (Don't forget, Brooklyn's brewmaster wrote the seminal book, "The Brewmaster's Table.")

Overall, a great beer; my only suggestion is that the alcohol grows and does cut short the enjoyment of the food.

Local 1 is reviewed in the "1001 Beers To Drink Before You Die" and it certainly deserves to be on that list. It is a model, still, for other American crafters that want to concentrate on a tradition that, clearly, is not easy to master.

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Beginner2 from Illinois, Apr 23, 2016
Photo of ivehadthatbrew
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Look (4.75): Pours a golden yellow/orange hazy color. This brew is definitely unfiltered, and leaves a beautiful white sticky lacing behind as you sip in it. One of the best looking brews I've had in.

Smell (4): Classic banana smells that shine through due to the belgium yeast. Sweet sugary and bready biscuits arise from the aroma as well as some vanilla perhaps?

Taste (4): The build up to the first sip was nice, and it definitely gets the saliva glands flowing. Again, big yeasty and bready flavors that are very banana like due to the belgium yeast. A spicy pepper and estery esk kind of ending (like one you get from tripels).

Mouthfeel (3.25): Dry, dry and drier. This is obviously from the secondary fermentation that goes on in the bottle. Pretty course and the bottles seem to love popping in your mouth, sort of scrubbing your palate as you sip.

Overall (3.75): I'd love to try this guy again after adding a year or two on it. I also wish I tried it when I was back on the East Coast so I could see if it's changed since they've expanded there production. Not bad for a 9 dollar bottle that can be aged.

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Photo of CHickman
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Popped the cork and it pours hazy to cloudy gold color with tons of bubbles and active carbonation racing up the middle of the brew to a massive foamy 3+ finger bright white head that was full of bubbles of all sizes, making a crackling sound as it dissipated very slowly leaving good foamy spotty lacing. The second half of the bottle also had a spectacular head that consumed most of the tulip glass, with the beer being a lot more cloudy looking as the yeast kicked up from the bottom half of the bomber. A pleasure to look at.

Smells of grains, chalky yeast, pepper, barnyard funk, mint, lemon zest, dry wheat, hap, a bunch of mild spices and estery notes that release mild fruity aromas but let you know this beer was bottle fermented. Grainy and not as sweet as I expected.

Tastes grainy with sweet malt combined with spices like pepper, coriander and rye up front, followed by dry yeast, light funk, lemon zest, faint caramel, bready accents like wet wheat bread or complex grains like a cereal bar. Seems like dry floral hops and some citrus hops come out with the second wave, looping in toasted grains, light alcohol and woody/earthy flavors. The earthy notes are not exactly peat moss, but more like the mash had extra grains and hard mineral water added to the boil. Somehow it works and resembles a Duvel with less alcohol bite and a softer citrus fruit presence.

Mouthfeel is zesty, pickly and champagne-like with light, fizzy carbonation, a medium body that's grainy and has some chewy aspects to it, followed by a grainy finish that let's the citrus sweetness balance the spices and mask the ABV. Some funk, some sweetness and a little citrus bitterness make this quite dynamic as it fades off on the dry side with a grainy/yeast finish.

A great American version of a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, this is a local beer for me which I've enjoyed for almost a decade. It's one of those beers you could have every year (at least once a year...) and always enjoy it while discovering a different perspective since the yeast and bottle refermentation changes it from bottle to bottle. A flagship American craft beer that pays homage to the Belgian masters while adding US flair. Classified as a "strong saison" by Garrett Oliver, that may be the best way to sum up this brew.

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CHickman from New York, Jan 09, 2016
Photo of Franziskaner
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Light gold to straw yellow in color with a heavy amount of fine carbonation bubbles churning from within. There's a fingernail of eggshell white on top. Light lacing. Aroma is of sweet and fruity Belgian yeast esters and light Belgian candy sugar. The taste is packed with sweet Belgian candy sugar and light malt. Think holiday sugar cookies sans sprinkles. The mouth is highly carbonated and bone dry.

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Franziskaner from Missouri, Dec 11, 2015
Photo of KowalaBear
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Has a very nice light golden colour, close to orange, with a decent light cream coloured foam collar. It had a fruity smell to it with the taste following the smell with a bit more of an alcohol taste added, with a very light feel. Overall this was a very tasty beer that I enjoyed very much.

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KowalaBear from Georgia, Nov 15, 2015
Photo of pat61
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: Pours hazy gold under a clingy off white foam collar that takes 4 minutes to descend to 1/3 its original height. Dense, with very fine bubbles. S: Fruity aromas with melon and stone fruits, light malts. T: Very creamy, moussey palate with stone fruits, melon, and tropical fruit notes. The malt is moderate in this yeast driven beer. F: A very creamy beer with an exquisite texture. O: One of the finer representations of Belgian Strong Pale Ale out there.

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pat61 from Minnesota, Sep 26, 2015
Local 1 from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 2113 ratings