Bock Lager

Guide to Bock Lager

Named after the German city from which they originate, Einbeck, Bock lagers offer up a rich and often malty sweet taste experience thanks to the use of specialty German malts.

As a general guide, these beers will often present as amber to dark brown in their appearance and be medium to full bodied in their nature, with a definite focus being made towards the malt profile of the brew over that of its hop profile.

This clear preference for malt over hop flavour results in beers that have low traces of hop fruit flavour and bitterness contrasted by a dominatingly high malt character that imparts typically sweet nutty, chocolatey, or toasty notes alongside some subtle malty fruit notes of plum and raisin.

To learn more about the flavours inherent in these styles of beer, consider this quick guide.

Bock Lager Characteristics

Whilst it is sometimes the case that spicy or peppery hop flavours can be present, particularly in lighter-coloured versions, Bocks should always be distinctly malt-driven and only light to moderately carbonated.

When looking to explore this distinct style of lager, the important sub-styles to be aware of include:

  • Maibock lager
  • Traditional Bock
  • Doppelbock

Maibock Lager

Maibock Lager Characteristics

The Maibock lager represents the lightest side of the Bock lager family, with them often being far paler and much less malt-driven than their darker-coloured relatives.

With this in mind, Maibocks are typically pale amber in their appearance and distinctly medium-bodied in their nature, with the hop profile being far more in balance with the malt profile than Traditional Bocks or Doppelbocks.

Because of this, there should be a noticeable amount of hoppy spice flavour and bitterness present within the beer alongside toasted and bready malt flavours, which should also finish somewhat dry and only slightly sweet.

Considering all of these attributes, and the fact that they’re usually moderately carbonated, they can be matched well alongside roast pork or ham dishes, swiss cheese, or spicy sausages.

Traditional Bock & Doppelbock

The Traditional Bock and Doppelbock are both examples of medium to full bodied amber to dark brown coloured beers that have an overwhelming preference for accentuating the malt profile of the brew over that of the hops.

Doppelbock, which translates to “Double Bock”, is an even maltier and darker version of the Traditional Bock, with a strong presence of sweet malty flavours contrasted against a low hop bitterness and fruit character.

With distinctly lower amounts of carbonation than is typically found in Maibocks, both the Traditional Bock and Doppelbock possess flavours of malty sweet bread and toast, however, no toffee or caramel-like flavours should be perceived.

Whilst the sweetness of these beers is definitely substantive, it is nowhere near as mouthcoating or as long-lasting post consumption than in a typical porter or stout, making these beers a good introduction to the dark beer category.

Food pairing wise, these beers match well with strongly flavoured cheeses, roast meat dishes with a fruit-based sauce, or moderately intense chocolate-based desserts.

Traditional Bock & Doppelbock Characteristics

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