Yay, it’s almost time: bock beer season is upon us! I still like to think of this beer style as the only real beer tradition of The Netherlands, besides of course our lagers that have found worldwide acclaim, and I always get a little excited as October draws near. With more Dutch breweries than ever before, 2015 promises to be the most beautiful bock beer year so far!I’m not even going to get worked up about the fact that bottles of Bock will soon be stacked up high in liquor stores and supermarkets, with a special promotion price from day One. Not that I understand why they play this ‘buy six, pay five’ game every year, with the consumer barely aware of the fact that it’s Bock time again. Why devaluate a world-class product so much? Neatly lined up, these beers by the large breweries commit collective image-suicide: donkeys they are.
What is bock beer anyway?
Thank God for small, artisanal breweries. They make good use of the fact that Bock beer as a style is not really defined: the only official requirement is that it must have a minimum of 15.50 degrees Plato. That probably means nothing to you, and keep it that way – it means nothing indeed. It means it can be anything, all colors of the rainbow are allowed and it can taste like anything, provided it is reasonably strong alcoholic. We have now had fruit bock beers, or with nuts, pepper and smoke malt – it is just a matter of time before we get India Pale Bock, as a hoppy counterpart to the predominantly sweet Dutch traditional bock beers. The brewing youngsters who have collectively thrown tradition to the wind with their excessive use of hops – culminating in the savage brutalizing of Hefeweissbier – will likely show no mercy here either, so I hold my breath for the Bocks of 2015. In any case, they have increasingly funny names.
Top Five Tastiest Bockbier names
Since everyone loves lists I will hereby present my top five most tasty Bock names for this year. If there’s one you believe I may have overlooked, please let me know – I can’t keep up with all that goes on out there and am keen to learn. For most of the beers I have no idea whatsoever what they will taste like (but neither do most of their Brewers, probably) but never mind – my Top Five Tastiest Bockbier Names:
- Brewery Oersoep – Sexy Motherbocker
- Bax Beer – Grandma’s Plum
- SNAB – Donkey Bock
- Butchers Tears – Broom Rider
- Tom Thumb – Slobberbock
I wonder if they taste as good as they sound. Moreover, I am of course very interested in learning which beer is labeled this year with the coveted Grunn Bock label. Cheers!