Meet the lager family: Bock

Adrian Tierney-Jones

Adrian Tierney-Jones

17 October 2019

The epitome of lad culture, lager is sometimes seen as a one-dimensional beer style. But there are more characters and personalities in the world of lager than you and your customers might think. Adrian Tierney-Jones introduces us to them in this six-part series


Bock

Family member: The brooding dad

Monks drank bock beer during the fasting season of Lent, which nourished them in this testing time. A good bock is akin to a thoughtful dad, taking his time to answer questions, though he’s also as dependably solid as a rock.

Some of cousin's friends

Donzoko Rock Bottom
Rich, strong and mature doppelbock, which is infused with Bavarian cherries.
8% abv, £30/24x330ml, Donzoko

Geipel Brewing Bock
A moody, magnificent, amber-coloured bock from North Wales.
6.5% abv, POA, Stori Beers

Keeping it in the family

Definitely on the dark side of the spectrum, ranging from chestnut-red to an autumnal brown-amber. Each sip unveils gently toasted notes alongside coffee and milk chocolate, plus a crisp mouthfeel and a dry finish. Dad’s dad is doppelbock, a powerful beer to be treated with care.

Favourite story

Dad says that he came from the north German town of Einbeck in the Middle Ages, but really started to enjoy himself in the 18th century when the monks of Munich began to brew bock. There are tales of beer spending a long time lagering in caves filled with ice. Modern bocks are a comfort in winter as well as a crisp and rich refreshment during the rest of the year.

Gets on well with

A bock is an elegant beer that is worth spending time with, as you try to articulate what you are tasting in the glass. Don’t dismiss its gastronomic possibilities, because it also shines in the company of roast beef or even with a ripe Stilton.

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