When I brought BROOKLYN BREWING’s amazing LOCAL 1 to my lips for the first time nearly two years ago, it was a rapturous, skies-opening, manna-raining-down moment. At the time I was certain it was one of the two or three finest American “Belgian” beers I’d ever had. The second time I tried it I was sure of it. LOCAL 1 got a lot of press and a lot of kudos from just about everyone, and what was supposed to be a pretty limited, New York City-only thing actually made it out there into the world, and was fairly available before it was discontinued in favor of…….LOCAL 2! Yeah! Believe you me, I was pretty fired up about this one when I purchased it in Atlanta and brought it home. I tore it open like a pack of wild dogs descending on a ripped bag of Kibbles-n-Bits, only to find – hunh. Really? “Is that all there is?”.
LOCAL 2 pours with a pillowy, foamy, clouds-of-heaven head. Immediately I’m hit with deep caramel malts (which are all European, the bottle says, as are the hops), along with molasses, honey, spices and very tangy yeasts. You could call it a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, as Beer Advocate does, and you’d be right. It’s a little sugary, with mild bitterness. It’s got a soft and effervescent mouthfeel, and while all the ingredient parts are there to make this a pretty stunning experience, it just – isn’t. I don’t know, I felt like BJ’s or ROCK BOTTOM or someone could make a nice, enjoyable “Belgian ale” this good, but one expects more from the magicians over at BROOKLYN. Especially after LOCAL 1. At least the guy that writes this friggin’ blog does. 6.5/10.