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Mammoth Maibock

Mammoth Maibock (2007)

 

In Germany, strong lagers are called “bocks” or “bock biers.” There is some dispute over the origin of the designation. “Bock” in German also means goat, and that animal often appears on labels as a symbol of the style. Some say bocks are brewed for the season of Capricorn, which includes Christmas, while others say simply that the beer has the kick of a goat.

The historically-minded among us at Grand Teton like to credit the originators of the style, the people of Einbeck, in Northern Germany. The beers that gave Einbeck the nickname “City of Beer” were first brewed in the 14th and 15th centuries. They were brewed very strong because they were sent long distances, fermenting on the way. Before long, Einbeck, pronounced Ein-bock by the southerners of Bavaria, became famous for its strong beers, which came to be known simply as “bocks.”

Einbeck is a beautiful medieval city, architecturally distinctive for the one story--or taller--arches that grace each house. These arches allowed entry of the town brew kettle, which passed from house to house according to a lottery held each year on May 1st. A pale bock brewed to commemorate the lottery became the city’s most celebrated beer—Maibock.

Our version is squarely in the Einbeck tradition. We used German Pilsner malt for a clean, slightly sweet flavor, then subtly spiced the brew with German Hallertau hops. We fermented with lager yeast from a monastery brewery near Munich, and allowed it to ferment and condition for more than two months for a smooth yet crisp character.

Try Mammoth Maibock as an aperitif to stimulate the taste buds, or with any flavorful fish, such as trout or salmon. 6.8% alcohol by volume.