Yesterday, we tapped our latest seasonal offering, Anaheim Bockbier. In the Tasting Room and on our website, we describe Anaheim Bockbier as “a classic golden-colored Maibock, just under 8% abv. Despite its strength, Anaheim Bockbier is smooth and drinkable.” While there is a lot of variety among the Bock beers of the world, ours is quite traditional – full-bodied, slightly sweet, with a hint of a floral note.
Bock beers are most associated with the town of Einbeck, in northern Germany. As far back as the middle ages, Einbeck was famous for its excellent strong lager. By the 1300’s, the city was exporting its beer to countries from Britain to Russia. Einbeck actually had a city-wide quality control system, under which citizens could brew their own beer, but the brewing equipment was owned by the city council; a professional brewmaster took the equipment to the homes of people who wanted to brew, oversaw the brewing process, and certified the quality of the beer.
By the 1500’s, the Bavarian city of Munich was importing beer from Einbeck – so much that they hired a brewmaster from Einbeck to produce their own version of the strong lager. Bavaria is a lot like our own deep south – accents can be startlingly different, and in Bavarian, Einbeck” sounds a lot like “Oanbock.” The word Bock, in German, translates to “goat,” which is why so many Bock beers feature some sort of goat on the label.
There is a pretty cool story about the goat and bock beer:
After Munich started to produce it’s own “Bock Bier,” a brewmaster from Einbeck came to town. He claimed, of course, that his original, northern brew was stronger. Of course, the Bavarian brewer disagreed, and the two decided to settle the question with a drinking contest. Each brewmaster would drink the other’s beer until one could no longer stand. The contest went on for several hours, and drew quite a crowd in the courtyard. Someone left a gate open, and a goat (a Bock) ran in and knocked the Einbeck brewmaster off his feet, making the Bavarian the winner. “No fair,” cried the northern man, “a Bock knocked me down!”
“Yes,” replied the Bavarian, “and I brewed it!”
Enjoy Anaheim Bock, and as always, drink responsibly. But if you see any goats in the beergarden…