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Friday
Aug172012

BOCK

Strap in. This is about to get complicated. Most places insist Bocks were born in Einbeck, in Germany’s north-east, in the 1300s but there is a flaw in the argument. As most Bocks are lagered beers (and lagering was born in Bavaria) some think Bocks began life in Bavaria.

Whatever, most Bocks are dark brown, though there is the odd pale one and a few amber ones. They usually use barleymalt, though there are brewers making Weizenbock with a mix of wheat. They are also lightly hopped, but it’s not a golden rule of Bocking.

The one absolutely defining characteristic of Bock beers is that they are stronger than the garden-variety products from the same brewer.

There are sub-Bocks, too, including Maibock (made by Bavarian brewers and released in May). It also goes by Hellerbock or Helles (pale) Bock.

Then there is Doppelbock, which is darker and higher in calories to keep Bavarian monks fat during fasting times.

There is also Eisbock, where brewers take fermented Doppelbock batches and freeze them just enough to form ice, which is then removed. The result is a meatier beer with more alcohol and richer flavours. But it’s more of a savouring beer than a session beer.

See all bocks