Friday, December 21, 2012

Local 1

Every year I look forward to the National Geographic Live's beer tasting event.  The head brewmaster of Brooklyn Brewery, Garrett Oliver, has hosted the event over the past few years.  I can still remember the first tasting, when Garrett introduced the guests to a range of Italian craft beers.  In advance of that tasting, I decided that I would try a couple of Garrett's beers.  While I could have tried any of Brooklyn's year around offerings, I specifically chose the bombers (22 ounce bottles) because I wanted to try the special beers.  The first one I tried was the Local 1. 

The Local 1 is a Belgian-inspired Golden Strong Ale.  Garrett and the brewers at Brooklyn use some special ingredients to make this beer, including two-row pilsner malt from Bamberg Germany, plus first pressing Demerara cane sugar from Mauritius.  The brewers also use German Hallertau Perle and Styrian Golding hops, with their own special Belgian yeast strain.  When all of these ingredients come together, and the brewers work their magic, the result is a beer with multiple awards.

The Local 1 pours a nice golden-orange color, placing itself comfortably within the Golden Strong Ale style.  The beer is also comfortably insulated by a very thick layer of foam from the carbonation of the beer.  Once that foam begins to reside, the aromas clearly make themselves present.  Aromas of bananas and cloves are first to greet the nose, followed by hints of the sugar and some mild citrus.  As for the flavor, the beer exemplifies what one would expect from a Belgian Golden Strong Ale ... flavors of banana and other tropical fruit. Maybe some pineapple or even a little kiwi.  This may be the result of the Demerara sugar. There are other citrus flavors, such as lemon and lemon peel, with a little orange as well.  The flavors of this beer are exactly what Garrett Oliver would describe as a "strong saison."  A very good "strong saison."

When it comes to pairing this dish, Brooklyn Brewery simply suggests drinking this beer as an aperitif or enjoying it with your favorite dishes.  If you do not have any favorite dishes, the brewers suggest one ... pasta with lobster, chorizo and peas.  This suggestion illustrates the versatility of the beer when it comes to pairing ... it goes, not only with pasta, but also seafood (lobster), pork (chorizo) and vegetables (peas).

I found this beer at a local grocery store.  It sells for about $12.99 a bottle.


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