Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Typology Tuesday #2: Bock

This post is a contribution to Typology Tuesday, a monthly project started by the Brookston Beer Bulletin.  On the last Tuesday of every month, beer bloggers are invited to explore a different style of beer and write a post about it.  For the month of February, we are writing about bocks.



To be perfectly honest, I don't have a ton of experience with bocks.  That is part of the reason why I wanted to participate in this month's Typology Tuesday.  Jay Brooks from the Brookston Beer Bulletin compiled a good amount of history, style guidelines from various sources and further reading suggestions for bocks, located here.

Bocks are lagers that generally fall into the 6.3-7.6% ABV range.  They are dark brown or very dark in color and have a high malt complexity.  You won't find much hop bitterness in these beers; just what's enough to cut the sweetness from the malt.  Bready, biscuity, nutty...all those bread descriptors could likely describe bocks.

Bock is one of those styles where I always seemed to be drinking a variation of the original style, but hardly ever the traditional style itself.  Doppelbock?  Check.  Weizenbock?  Check.  Maibock?  Rogue's Dead Guy Ale was probably one of the first non-BMC beers I tried (or at least in the first 10!).

I can count on one hand the number of beers I've had where the style was simply bock.  There's Shiner Bock, which doesn't quite meet style guidelines at 4.4%, and was always an underwhelming beer unless I was being offered no other option.  Yuengling Bock was brought back in 2010 as a late winter seasonal, but has since been discontinued.  I don't have any notes on the beer, but I remember it being alright.  It was also outside style guidelines at 5.1%.  Anchor Brewing used to have a bock in their portfolio, and it was ALSO outside style guidelines at 5.5%.  Sadly, I never tried Anchor's version before it was discontinued several years ago.

I wanted to try a traditional bock for this post, and had a hard time finding one!  I went to 3 different liquor stores that I rely on for their superb selections, but only found doppelbock and weizenbock until I made it to the 3rd store.  There, sitting on the shelf, I found Zywiec Bock.  I was familiar with Zywiec Porter, which I wrote about here, but wasn't aware they brewed a bock.  I decided to give it a try for this post.  Let's see how it is!

Zywiec Brewery, Bock, Typology Tuesday
Zywiec Bock
Zywiec Bock (6.5% ABV) poured a dark amber with a frothy head.  A very attractive beer!  It has a nutty, pumpernickel-like flavor and it goes down incredibly easy.  I'm glad this came in a 16 oz. bottle and not a 12 oz. size.  Zywiec's Bock would go perfectly in a liter mug at a beer hall or barbecue.  The aftertaste just leaves me wanting more.

I know the Dutch Heineken Group has a controlling share in the Zywiec brewery, but at $1.99 for a 16 oz. bottle, this was a steal.  I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more traditional bocks.  It's a style that lends to drinking.  Not a challenge to put one back, and a beer you could probably pair with just about any food (if you're into that sort of thing!)

Cheers!




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