Beer 101: What is bock?

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Spatenbrau bockBock is the German term for strong beer. The primary characteristics of bock are:

Random facts about lager:

  • The word bock is a corruption of Einbeck, the town in Germany in which bock has its roots.
  • Bock literally means “goat” in German. Many bock labels feature goats.
  • Traditionally brewed for special occasions, such as Christmas, during autumn, winter, and spring.
  • It’s a favorite of Roman Catholic monks in Germany.

CelebratorThere are several different kinds of bock:

  • Traditional
  • Maibock -A pale version of traditional bock.
  • Dopplebock (double bock) – Bavarian specialty beer that was first brewed by the monks of St. Francis of Paula. Traditionally it was sweeter and lower in alcohol but isn’t necessarily true in modern dopplebocks.
  • Eisbock – Made by freeze distilling a doppelbock and removing the ice to concentrate the flavor and alcohol content.

Here is a nice diagram of all beer types arranged in a sort of family tree. Michael Jackson also has a decent beer styles section on his Beer Hunter site.

Beer 101 is an ongoing series intended to help the average beer drinker learn more about the mystical beverage we call beer. If there is a topic you would like covered in Beer 101, leave a comment, visit the contact page.

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