Good pubs, Good Beer, Good People

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

It's May! The Month of "Yes, you Mai (Bock)"

Vanessa Redgrave in 1967
(She doesn't look like this today, 
but who among us looks like we did in 1967?)
The ancient rhythms are stirring again, just as they did for Queen Guinevere in the classic film--Camelot.
To be candid, the weather hasn't been exactly springlike.
Though anything above 50 is an improvement over the doses of global "warming" this winter shared with us. It was, assuredly, a winter of stouts, porters, tripels and quads around my house.
But, also assuredly, spring is coming, and with it the entry of one of The PubScout's favorite beer styles--the Maibock.

And, though there are surely others that will delight a malt-maven's palate (Rogue Dead Guy is one) my favorite is this one. Einbecher Mai-Ur-Bock.

For starters, it's a strong spring beer, more malt-forward than hoppy (IPA nuts be warned), sweeter and higher in alcohol. Einbecker checks in at 6.5%. Most are tawny to golden, though helles bocks are known for being lighter in color. A pale malt nose and bready, earthy, toasty notes show why this is a favorite of mine among German seasonals. Some beer cognoscenti describe it as having "buttery, caramel scents," and I wouldn't argue. My only complaint is the 11.2 oz. bottle.

Others, like Altenmunster Maibock, have an almost lemony, peppery quality (from the hops) to accompany the honey notes. Gordon Biersch makes one--a Blond Bock--that has more pronounced hop notes than a maibock lover might expect. Hofbrau Munchen's product is a bit higher in alcohol (7.2%) and just a tad more bitter in the finish.

Here are some others that deserve a shot: Primator Maibock, Abita Andygator, Abita Bock, Fort Collins Maibock, Narragansett Bock, Smuttynose Maibock, Anchor and Victory St. Boisterous.

And NJ brewers have also made outstanding maibocks: Ramstein (with a Bourbon Barrel Aged offering), Flying Fish and Cricket Hill. Harvest Moon supposedly has a maibock brewing as we speak.

Search your local liquor locker to find more, because most maibocks will not disappoint malt mavens in the merry month of May. (And how is that for alliteration?)

Unless, of course, you're a DIPA, Imperial IPA slave of the Hop Monster.

But hey, drink what you like.
I always do.

The PubScout

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