“Bock” literally means goat, shrouding this classic craft beer in a lot of lore. The German-style Bock comes in colours ranging from old copper to dark brown, with some mahogany highlights. The Bock’s prominent aroma is a profound malt character, with little to no hop aroma, fruity esters, and alcohol. The Bock has a strong malt taste, with no burnt or roasted character. Caramel hints may be noticed, but only at low levels, unlike other ales’ caramel-dominant characteristics. The hop bitterness supports the deep malt flavours without being too intrusive, and sweetness may linger through the finish.
Going “Bock” In Time
History credits the northern German town of Einbeck with the Bock’s 14th-century origins. It was a dark, malty, and light hop ale back then. By the 1600s, the German-style Bock was being brewed in the Munich area, and the region’s brewers adapted to this new lager brewing style. Due to their distinct accent, the people of Munich sounded “Einbeck” as “ein Bock,” literally meaning a “billy goat,” and over time, Bock became an established German beer style.
Today, many brewers play on the Bock beer’s “goat associations” by branding their Bock labels with goats as a visual pun (brilliant). This craft beer classic is associated with special occasions like Easter, Lent and Christmas. Bavarian monks also brew and enjoy bocks to nourish themselves during fasting periods.
Enjoying Your German-Style Bock
A great German-style bock pint is an excellent companion to roasted duck, dark chocolate, grilled chicken, aged Swiss cheese, and pork chops. You can also enjoy this craft beer with desserts like chocolate ice cream.