The Origin of Bock
It is believed the name of this type of beer comes from… a goat. Old tradition required that this beer was only to be brewed during the sign of the Capricorn goat. The name may have also originated from a 14th century German town Einbeck [ein Bock = a billy goat]. Despite the origin, you can usually see a goat image on the label of Bock lager.
Essentially, this beer was a symbol of better times to come and moving away from winter. For centuries, Christian Europeans have fasted during the early spring Lent season that preceded Easter. During this period, they drank this dark, strong, malty beer, sometimes called “liquid bread”, to provide themselves with nutrition.
People in Cincinatti, Ohio celebrate Bockfest, an annual festival devoted to this type of beer, held on the first full weekend in March. Bock is believed to be the first and oldest variation of European beers ever brewed in the United States.
Styles of Bock
Modern Bocks retained their ancient style: they are usually sweet, with almost undetectable hops, and quite strong, ranging between 6.3%–7.2%. Their colour varies from light copper to brown. Rich, toasty flavour with hints of caramel and modest carbonation are Bock’s distinct features.
Bock has several subtypes: Maibock, Doppelbock, Eisbock and Weizenbock. It is very popular all over the world and produced widely in most European countries, but also in the USA, Canada, Central America, Namibia in Africa, Australia, New Zealand & Oceania.