For May, what beer is more natural than a Maibock?
The German bock tradition originated seven hundred years ago in the northern-German town of Einbeck and was later picked up by brewers in Bavaria who created the Maibock variant. They pronounced the name of the town as “ein Bock” which means “a goat” in German. As a result you’ll often seen the image of a goat on bock labels.
Maibock is an offshoot of the traditional bock and is associated with springtime and often the end of Lent (time to get drunk!). Similarities include a medium/high alcohol content, usually in the 6 – 8% range, and the golden to light-amber color. Where Maibock differentiates itself is in the hops. While still maintaining the strongly-malted profile of bocks, Maibock introduces additional hop notes for a more balanced taste and a drier finish. You’ll still find bock’s bready and toasty malts, but with a side of bittering, spice and pepper from Noble hops.
Maibock serves as a wonderful transition from heavy, malted winter beers into lighter, hoppier summer beers. With the increasingly longer days, this style provides a great metaphor for coming out of the darkness into the light!