Columbus Brewing Company has a new winter seasonal out this year – Bock Bier (just listed as “Bock” on the label). This is the first time the beer has been bottled. Brewmaster Eric Bean falls back on his roots as a classically trained German-style brewer and brings us a traditional German Lager in the form of Bock Bier.
For 2012 there will be a total of five batches brewed; the brewery has already finished the first three. Packaging is limited to 1200 cases total, so if you’re looking to try this one out don’t wait too long! It’ll be a while before we see Summer Teeth in stores.
Currently the beer is only available in the Columbus area, but as of next week the brewery will begin distributing to Northeast Ohio. Sadly, Columbus Brewing’s offerings will be draft only for the first few months as they await the delivery of new fermentation and brewing equipment which will double their production ability. By the time bottles make their way up north Bock Bier will be long gone most likely.
If you live in Cleveland and want to try it, my suggestion is to try to make it to one of the launch parties Columbus Brewing has scheduled around town. Each night the party starts at 6pm, and they will be at Winking Lizard’s Lizardville Tuesday (2/7), Kent’s 101 Bottles on the Wall on Wednesday (2/8), and then on Thursday (2/9) the biggest party will be at Buckeye Beer Engine. These parties are a great way to meet the brewers, ask some questions, and hang out with the people who make partying worthwhile in the first place. Be sure to let them know how much you like their beer, and be sure to ask for some Bock Bier – this is one of their better recent brews and my favorite seasonal offering from the brewery thus far. I definitely plan to be buying this constantly while it’s around.
Bock Tasting Notes:
- Appearance: Rich chestnut color with a thick creamy head. Great clarity.
- Aroma/Flavor: Nutty, very bready/malty. Toasty and chewy with mild sweetness and strong yeast esters.
- Mouthfeel: Creamy, soft, quaffable.
- Overall: Wonderful compliment to the cold. Pair with food or enjoy a few as a meal in itself.
Poured into a Kirta-Halbe stange. My wife hates this glass but i think it’s awesome. Never trust a goose unless he’s holding a beer, I say!
Rich color here, deep cherry wood and chestnut colors with bright ruby hues in the light. Excellent clarity. The head rises easily to just under 3 fingers and showcases excellent retention. Lace is droopy and inconsistent.
The aroma starts off a bit soapy, but quickly yields great depth of malt character. Toasty bread crust and warm dough invite one to dig in with reckless abandon. Things turn towards nutty at times. And if you dig even harder mild aromas of toffee and what I can only describe as butternut also present themselves. Mild sweetness pervades the aroma, and later the flavor.
So, how does this Bock taste?
Wow, I typically dislike bocks precisely because many seem to be too light in color and malt flavor – but not here. This easily has the best malt profile of any Columbus Brewing Company beer I can recall. Flavors of browned whole grain bread and fresh baguette wash over the palate, while the finish demands further attention by way of assertive, yet balanced, hops. The hops are earthy with a bitter spicy finish. There’s a very subtle hint of fruit sweetness, perhaps currant, and a nice honey-like profile that develops over time.
Creamy smooth mouthfeel and highly quaffable. I actually wish this were a tad weaker on alcohol (7%) so I could even more easily drink this in quantity. Bock Bier definitely becomes quite dry by the end of the glass, though while slightly distracting, it is only just so.
Overall I wasn’t expecting this to be my cup of tea, and in fact I feel that I will be wanting to keep this stocked in my fridge throughout the season. Very nice. Well done CBC, I love the fact that you’re proving that you aren’t just hop Wunderkind, but able to showcase some prowess with classic malty styles as well.