Beer Guide: What is Double Bock?

Double bock (or doppelbock) beers have became one of our new favorites this winter! And with cold weather lingering in many parts of the country, there's definitely still time to enjoy this warming malty brew. Read on for more info and a few suggestions...

Double bocks are often described as "liquid bread." Indeed, some of the ones we tried we so thick and hearty that they could have been a meal unto themselves!

This lager beer comes from southern Germany, and the name itself might either come from the town of Einbeck or from the German word "bock," meaning a male deer or goat. There are actually several kinds of bock beers, including traditional bock beers, maibocks, eisbocks, and our favorite double bocks. (We'll talk about these other beers another time!)

Most double bocks are typified by malty and nutty flavors and have low hops (which affect bitterness). Depending on the specific beer, you'll get notes of caramel, nut, coffee, or even some fruit. They can range in color from light amber to dark brown, and often have a higher alcohol content than regular beers.

As you might expect with a German beer of this style, double bocks go very well with a hearty meal. Try a glass with stew, braised meat, charcuterie, roasted vegetables, or any dish with enough flavor to stand up to the assertiveness of the beer.

It can be difficult to cook with double bock since the flavors can take over and become too sweet when reduced, but the experimentation can be rewarding! Try a cup of the beer in a braise or when deglazing a pan when making gravy or a pan sauce.

We really enjoy the Salvator from Paulaner Brewery, which is theoretically brewing double bocks in the tradition of the monks who first developed the beer. Spaten Optimator and the bocks from Ayinger Brewery are also definitely worth trying if you can get your hands on them. Sam Adams also produces a good double bock that might be a little easier to find than the imports.

What's your take on double bocks?

Related: Beer Guide: What are Lambic Beers?

(Image: Flickr member dubswede licensed under Creative Commons)

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