We have two beers on the menu for Lagerfest that are part of the Bock Lager family. Bock beers are German beer styles and have a few different origin stories – and who does not love a good origin story? Bock beers are generally stronger than your typical Lager, and have more malt character. To be labeled “Bock” in Germany, the beer must have an original gravity of at least 16° Plato. Of course this means that once the beer is finished fermenting and lagering, the alcohol content will generally be 6% or higher.
The Goat City
Many say the original Bock came out of the northern town of Einbeck in the fourteenth century. The city owned the brewing equipment and would move it from house to house using the malt and hops of the house owner. The Brewmaster was a civil servant to the city and would maintain the quality control of the beer but the house owner could sell it. If you go to Einbeck today, many of the original 15th and 16th century homes are downtown and have extra large doorways. The was to allow the brew kettle into the house. Beers from Einbeck were stronger than normal and would export well to neighboring towns. Because the dialect was different between the German towns the southerners thought beer from “Einbeck” sounded like “ein bock” which means “billy goat” in German. That is why we see goats on many of the labels for a Dunkles Bock.
Monks and Liquid Bread
Another favorite story is the Doppelbock came out of the 18th century. Paulist monks that settled near Munich and brewed the stronger beer called the “Salvator” to help them during the fasts of Advent and Lent. This became a popular beer and in 1896 the Paulaner brewery, descended from the Paulist monks, trademarked the name Salvator. So breweries chose names with an “-ator” suffix to indicate it was “liquid bread.” Also we see a lot of saints and monks on labels.
As the technology started to give brewers more control of the malting process and access to lighter color grains at the end of the 19th century we start to see the change to clearer, golden, crisp beer from the Germany region. “Helles” in Germany means light. Brewers created a light in color, 16° Plato original gravity beer and the style of Helles Bock is born. This beer has bready and lightly toasted malt flavors with low spicy and floral hop notes and is golden in color.
Bocks at LRB Riverwalk Lagerfest
We will have both a Doppelbock and a Helles Bock on the line up for Lagerfest. Zach created the Assassinator Doppelbock with intense toast and nutty malt flavor with notes of caramel and toffee. The Hersbrucker hops give you classic noble type German hop flavor of spice and floral characteristics. This is a 7.6% ABV so watch yourself.
Matt created the Helles Bock that is a beauty to the eye. Brewing with a lighter base, this beer has a bread malt with a light toast and a touch of caramel flavor. Using the Hersbrucker hops but also including the classic Saaz produces a mild herbal finish. This is 6% ABV.
We hope you will come out on April 2nd to Lagerfest and help us enjoy these great creations!