Top 5 Maibocks / Helles Bocks

It may not be May quite yet, but it’s time for me to post my Top 5 Maibock/Helles Bocks, the final in a series of Bock beers and all their bastard brothers and sisters.

While Doppelbock is a stronger version of a Bock, and Weizenbock is a stonger version of a German Dunkel or Hefe, Maibock fits into all of this by being a paler version of a traditional Bock. Confused yet?

Maibock is an interesting style of beer, with multiple breweries both foreign and domestic having a go at producing one these days. Like traditional Bock, Maibock is a beer style associated with springtime and the month of May. At the same time, the alcohol content is that of a Bock, so they can be sneaky. That can be in the low 6% to the high 7% and while being a bit paler than a traditional Bock, they also tend to have a more significant hop aroma and flavor, something that is absent in the rest of this family of beers. In this case, more hop bitterness mean less malt, along with some mild spicy notes. Maibocks should always show good clarity, with colors ranging from deep gold to light amber, and there should be Rogue Dead Guy Alea big, bold persistent white head dominating your glass as well.

Maibocks, to me, seem to be an under-appreciated and underrated style of beer. I can’t imagine why; it might have to do with the fact that for some breweries they’re a seasonal release only, so maybe they slip under everyone’s radar when they hit the shelves. Or maybe when people are at their local beer store this time of year they’re too busy scarfing up all the holiday beers that are being discounted, or focusing their attention on all the lawnmower beers that are showing up, that they just don’t notice ’em.

Personally, I have a lot of favorite session beers, but any of these would definitely be at the top of my list. When you’re in the mood for something a bit out of the ordinary of your usual, and something you can have 4-5 of and still feel your face, I think Maibock is the way to go, folks. I’m such a big fan of Rogue Dead Guy, I even had it at my wedding reception! Although, I’m pretty sure I had more than 4-5, and by the end of the night, no, I couldn’t feel my face!


Rogue Dead Guy

Stoudts Blonde Double Maibock

Smuttynose Maibock

Sprecher Maibock

Erie Golden Fleece Maibock


1 Comment

  • Hannah April 28, 2009 @ 8:40am

    Thanks for the breakdown, Deron – I know I enjoyed the Smuttynose Maibock – review coming soon!

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