Brooklyn Local 1

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I’ve enjoyed a number of really great beers from New York’s highly acclaimed Brooklyn Brewery over the years. None, however, has intrigued me as much as Brooklyn Local 1 has. Sure, I’ve enjoyed some great Brooklyn beers from the regular line-up in six-packs, and a few more esoteric brews on draft. But Local 1 is a little different from the pack, something you’ll discover as soon as you pick up the bottle.

Brooklyn Local 1 is sold in 750ML bottles capped off with a cork and cage. The bottle itself is hefty, made in Germany especially for Brooklyn Brewing of thick, sturdy glass and foreshadows the full, hearty brew within. The beer undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle, and if you store it carefully enough this will allow it to age and perhaps improve over the years. Interestingly, Brooklyn says the beer is flat at bottling, and all the carbonation you’ll see was actually a result of the bottle fermentation.

I picked up Local 1 here in Atlanta along with a few more beers “by the numbers”, Victory 12 and Lagunitas Lucky 13. Along with a bottle of Unibroue 15 I’ve been sitting on for a while, I thought it might be fun to do a little rundown by the numbers, and as such Brooklyn gets to go first.

Brooklyn’s master brewer Garrett Oliver, in striving to create an American interpretation of a classic Belgian style (Tripel/Belgian Strong Golden) has spared no expense and made every effort to give beer aficionados a truly authentic example. Towards that end, he uses German Two-Row Pilsner malt, German Hallertauer Perle and Styrian Golding hops, cane sugar from Mauritius (for body and depth), and a genuine Belgian yeast strain.

All this strives to make Brooklyn Local 1 a local beer with global ingredients at any rate. The addition of sugar should not surprise, since that is common for the style. The sugar mostly ferments out of the beer, but can add a rock-candy or cotton candy note to the finished beer.

I slowly decant a portion of my Brooklyn Local 1 into a wide-mouthed Belgian glass to fully appreciate the aroma of the beer. It pours to a light golden color with a thick creamy head formation and I immediately get soft fruit and grassy hops in the nose. Earthy Belgian yeast flavors, hints of rock candy, orangey citrus, pineapple, pear, and a little clove all poke their heads up upon sipping. The beer is quite spicy, and an herbal hop character soon emerges that carries into the grassy, long dry bitter hop aftertaste. There's some warming alcohol there, too; Brookyln Local 1 clocks in at a formidable 9% alcohol by volume.

What’s interesting about this beer, aside from the vibrant carbonation and authentic Belgian yeast flavors, are the hops. They are much more pronounced than they would be in a traditional Tripel or Golden Strong Ale. Still, along with the impressive alcohol warmth they serve to dry the beer wonderfully and along with the soft biscuity malt make this a natural for pairing with a wide array of dishes. I suspect it would go extremely well with just about anything you could otherwise pair a dry white wine with. Or enjoy before or after a meal, or just before bed as a nightcap.

Brooklyn has a very fascinating video on this beer narrated by Garrett Oliver that you can see ay Just click on the link to Brooklyn Local 1 and go.


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