Readers of this blog might get the impression that every season is the season for dark Belgian ales and porters. Not so! In fact many brewers kick off the spring with light wheat beers and a MaiBock named after the month we just passed. The bock variety uses a combination of lighter and darker malts that straddle the boundary between lager and ale and range from the lighter (may/mai/Helles bocks) to ale strength (doppelbocks) and beyond (eisbocks).
I haven’t tried enough bocks in my life to say who makes the great examples of the genre. Based on past experience I pretty much never miss a chance to try a new release from Stoudt’s brewery in Wilkes-Barre, PA, so I recently took home a sixer of their Double Blonde MaiBock with more than a little anticipation.
Another bull’s-eye. Most days the wife and I cool the apartment by opening the windows so a cool, light beer with enough oomph to stand up to a spicy pie from Mineo’s in Squirrel Hill (best pizza on the planet; you New Yorkers can come here and try it) will always be welcome here. Stoudt’s pours a clear light caramel and comes across clear and refreshing with a slightly spicy finish. This reviewer at BA said it better:
medium mouthfeel, the carbonation just barely prickles the tongue, the sweet notes (honey) are in near perfect balance with the lager flavor which makes this oh so damn drinkable… like alot of stoudt offerings this delivers in a straightforward manner. And here . it works. There is even a slight hit of bitterness on the back of the tongue in the finish even though you are awash in the sweet tones of the malt and honey.
Just so. As always toss out your favorite bocks and whatever beverage you’re enjoying in the comments.
POSTSCRIPT: Just as an FYI, the History Channel series Modern Marvels ran a very cool special on brewing last night. I picked up enough cool new stuff that you will probably hear more about it, or at least ideas that I gleaned from it, in upcoming beer blogs.