Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Outer Styles - Maibock

You might not know it by looking out the window this week, god forbid you go outside in this mess, but it’s just about May out there. Brown things are turning green, green things are turning all kinds of colors, people are peeking their heads outdoors. Despite the fact that it’s pretty darn cold out there right now, the sun is gonna be out before you know it and you’ll be forcing yourself off of the couch with any excuse you can.

Beerwise the obvious choices will start popping their heads up as well. There’ll be a wheat beer for every day of the week, maybe a pale ale here or there, we should all be drinking Saison until October. But what’s that you hear in the distance? Is it a tractor stuck between gears? Is it a chainsaw? A gattling gun? A ring tone?

It’s a goat.

May. The brewers have been lagering a beer away for you for two months or so and now it’s time to give them their due. It is Maibock season my friends, time for Munich’s first craft beer. A bit lighter than your typical bock or a bit stronger than that Helles you like so much, Maibocks rely on a lightly kilned base of Pilsner malt usually, though some use Vienna and you’ll find a bit of Munich malt (which other, heftier bocks rely more heavily on) to get a nice base that’ll contrast with a noble hop aroma and flavor.

Maibocks are just right for the time of year that May should be showing us as it arrives. Crisp and refreshing, they aren’t a one and done beer; whether you’re on your porch or a picnic bench they’ll see you through the duration. Without a lot of big flavors coming from the fermentation, you’ll get a great idea of how malt and hops combine and compliment each other with a nice Maibock.

Plus, it’s a darn festive beer. And a fest’ing it will go. Below is a small guide to the Maibocks of our fine land:

Iron Hill – Phoenixville -Tapping 4/29 (oops May 1st, sorry Kevin!)

Stoudt’s - Double Maibock
-Just nabbed 2nd place at the Manayunk Brew Fest

Victory – St. Boisterous -All German malt and hops. On draft here and in further lands, bottles are only in PA

Union Barrel Works – Maibock
-Like Stoudt’s they soothe the higher alcohol with honey

That’s the short list of what I’ve dug up. If any of the other local brewpubs brew one up i’ll be sure to add it to the list. Enjoy your Maibocks people, the wheat beers can wait and you don’t have to break the lawnmower out just yet. It’s strange though, i just can’t help but feel like i’m forgetting something. I dunno, i guess i can come back for an edit if it comes back to……OH!


The annual Sly Fox Goat Race / Maibock Festival is this Sunday, May 4th. Food, Music, Six different Bocks for the tasting.

A goat race decides the name of this year’s Maibock and let me tell you, the competition is going to be fierce. Stories of horn sharpening, muscle enhancers, and loads of trash talk have all been circulating at Goat Competitor and I think this is gonna be a race for the ages. The event is from 11 am – 7 pm and I hope to see you folks there. Important parking info here.

Enjoy your Maibocks everybody.

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