The first thing you will notice about Brooklyn Local 1 when you pour a glass is it’s appearance. It’s a beautiful beer to sip on as the sun sets in the summer. It’s a strong beer at 8 percent alcohol content, but the alcohol will not overpower you. For a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, it goes down surprisingly smoothly, and that alcohol will eventually catch up to you.
Appearance: A beautiful golden-orange color greets you as you pour this beer. The head reminds you of the billowy white clouds you might see as a summer thunderstorm approaches. Beautiful to look at, but possibly lasting too long. The lacing on the glass is a long-lasting, the same with that head. Overall, this gets very close to perfect, nine out of 10 points as the head might actually last a little too long.
Aroma- There is a definite sweetness to this beer in the aroma. It has a hint of what you might smell from a hard cider, the apple smell mixes with other sweet fruits such as pear and banana. There might be just a little bitterness hidden in there from grapefruit and maybe some bitter orange. Not an overpowering aroma, but very pleasant on a summer afternoon. Scores four out of five points.
Taste- After the first sip I was a little concerned. .It seemed to be much more bitter than I would expect from the aroma. As I let the glass warm slightly though, the flavors of pear and apple started to dominate, and surprisingly there was a banana finish to this. Though Brooklyn Local 1 is a relatively heavily hopped beer, the bitterness is not a strong player in this beer. It’s there though, you get that slight mix of grapefruit in with the banana at the end, but its complimentary instead of overpowering. Very nice tasting beer, surprised me and I give it nine out of 10 points for taste.
Mouth feel: Belgian beers are frequently heavily carbonated, and this American brewed version by Brooklyn Brewery is no exception to the rule. The 22 ounce bomber was sealed with a cork to preserve that carbonation. You can see the small bubbles continuously flowing upward as you gaze at this beer as you drink it. They tickle the tongue slightly, but not enough to take away from the taste. Keeps the beer from being flat or watery. Brooklyn Local 1 scores four out of five points for mouth feel.
Overall Drinkability- This is one of those beers that is just perfect to enjoy on a summer evening sitting out on your porch. It’s a perfect replacement for those American macro-produced beers that are lacking in flavor. The alcohol content does sneak up on you. For a summer beer 8 percent is on the high end. The semi-sweet fruit flavors with just a touch of grapefruit to balance them out is the perfect combination for a relaxing summer treat. Overall have to give this 18 out of 20 points for drinkability.
Final Impressions: Brooklyn Local 1 scores 44 out of 50 points overall. That comes out as a 4.4 score on the standard beer scoring system. This beer surprised me, as the bitterness I expected, and feared, was not strong enough to overpower the other flavors. This beer shows what a microbrewery can do and those drinking macro based products should really try this one, as it’s a good introduction to the world of microbrew based beers, with one of the top in the genre.