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I’ve had a few offerings from Brooklyn Brewery before, mainly through my brief work trips out to The Big Apple. Their East India Pale Ale? Yeah, serviceable. Pennant Ale ’55? A pretty average pale ale, but OK. At least I got a decent story out of procuring it. But when my buddy Aaron over at the Vice Blog sent me a nice trade package a while back, I knew I was in for a treat when I opened the box and discovered a bomber of Local 2 staring back at me. 

I have a lot of respect for Garrett Oliver, head brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery. He seems to approach craft beer not solely from the magnified perspective of “this is a great craft beer and I’m going to tell you why,” but rather from the broader holistic sense of how the beer contributes to the experience of food enjoyment, mirth and life. It’s a great way to think about craft beer, in my opinion, and prevents one from getting too siloed with what can sometimes become a harlequin romance novel of bathetically poetic beer description and granular conversation that may turn off some non-craft drinkers to the whole phenomenon. Granted, I’m as guilty as the rest of them, particularly through this blog. But I’d generally like to think my enjoyment and advocacy for craft beer, whether that includes hanging out with friends and family on the patio during a summer evening or at the local brewpub, is more about connecting, learning, and appreciating the company of those around me versus beating someone over the head with knowledge of malt characteristics. Regardless of whether or not this is an accurate interpretation of Garrett’s beer philosophy, one thing is certain — the guy knows how to brew a damn good beer.

Local 2 kicked off with a resounding pop of the cork exploding from the bomber. Quite a gusher. Once I cleaned up the unfortunate spillage on the kitchen floor, Local 2 poured with a nice chocolatey brown coloring and big fizzy head. Hazy appearance from the abundance of yeast. Big Belgian nose with its yeast and candi sugar notes, almost dubbel-ish in the way it sang dark fruits. Taste is sweet up front, migrating to a dry fruitiness in the finish, I’m sure partially due to the honey used in the brewing process. Also a tad bit too boozey for me, which is the only real drawback in my mind. But overall a very nice, lively beer. 

 Rating: A-

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