Drink in Style: Maibock

May 18th, 2011 · 2 Comments · Chris Clemetson

Written by SBN contributor Chris Clemetson.

In celebration of spring, this week we spotlight the Beer Judge Certificate Program (BJCP) style 5A. Maibock.  Bock beers were originally brewed in Germany and are usually a stronger and darker variation of lighter pale lagers.  Maibock is a relatively recent style compared to other bock beers and was originally brewed to celebrate springtime and the month of May.

What the BJCP style guide says:

“Can be thought of as either a pale version of a traditional bock, or a Munich helles brewed to bock strength. While quite malty, this beer typically has less dark and rich malt flavors than a traditional bock.”

Thoughts on the Style:

When people tend to think about lagers they might initially think of pilsners or mass produced American beers.  But bocks are a bold expression of what can be done with lagers and the Maibock is my favorite.  It is a more approachable bock in that it is lighter in color and less malty then it’s cousins.  Despite that fact, it can also push the style and be hoppier with mild spice characteristics.  Being a bock they have higher alcohol content, usually ranging from 6% to 7% by volume.  Besides, it’s May so go out and grab one based on that alone.

Local examples of the style:

Mai Oh Maibock by Anacortes Brewery – this seasonal has just been released and is named in honor of Mariners announcer Dave Niehaus’ classic exclamation.

Maritime Pacific has a classic example on tap at the Jolly Roger Taproom.

Elysian has their Ambrosia Maibock on tap at the moment as well.

Other examples include:

Bayern Maibock

We’d love to hear what some of your favorite examples of the style are.

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Dor & Bob

    The best maibock we ever had was Hofbräu Maibock served at a table under the chestnut trees in the beer garden at the Hofbräuhaus in Munich. We happened to be visiting Munich in April that year on the very day that the first barrel was tapped. Nothing else comes close to the quality and freshness of that beer sampled at the source.

  • jamie

    thank you for this post and for acknowledging my favorite possible beer style EVER. not many people understand how “rare” this beer is and I ALWAYS go on a hunt for it through the month of may. Some stand bye’s that serve it are rock bottom and the ram beyond the ones you mentioned. i do love maritime’s but frankly just appreciate ANYONE who makes it. YUM.

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