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May Equals Maibock

Below is an oak aged version of a Maibock at The Cellarest in West Asheville.

Today is the 1st of May so that means that Iager lovers like me will be on the hunt at all of the breweries in Beer City for the wonderful style of beer called Maibock, or Helles Bock. Mai translates to May and bock to strong lager in German. I feel that this style is underrepresented at breweries so I am always on the lookout for them all year round, but especially during the spring. If I see a Maibock on a list I am definitely ordering it. I recommend that you do the same.


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WHAT IS A MAIBOCK?


A Maibock is a springtime pale lager, or German beer style. The style has a base of Pilsner malt or Vienna malt with possibly a little bit of some Munich malt. This just means that the color is relatively light but with a touch of added color. Typically brewed with a much lighter decoction (boiling malt then reintroducing it back to the mash tun for added flavor and color) technique. This beer style has a lightly toasted malt forward expression yet not overly dark in its color. Maibock also has some light spice (peppery) and bitterness from the continental, or Noble hops. These German hops balance that lightly toasty malt base. The Maibock does not have a lot of caramel flavor or color development and the beer finishes quite dry from utilizing a highly attenuating (yeast cells that eats a lot of the sugars) German yeast. This yeast leaves no trace of fruitiness or spiciness behind leaving a dry and crisp finish. It is a treat whenever I have one.


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As you can see I really adore this style of German lager. If you have been on one of my Asheville brewery tours in Beer City you would understand how much I love to highlight and curate dry beers, especially German lagers. I genuinely feel that these types of beer styles promote multiple sips and exciting times. I feel that the Maibock is a style that can be a lot of fun both in the search for it and in the payoff of drinking one. With the alcohol by volume somewhere between 6-7.4% the stronger Maibock is a beautiful balance of rich, lighter malts, spicy European hops, soft water like that of Asheville, and a very crisp and clean finish from the German yeast. This type of lager will always be a style that I will be on the hunt for in Beer City and beyond.


Cheers!


Evan Rosenberg

Owner/Operator

Certified Cicerone®

Asheville, NC

www.beercitybrewerytours.beer

828-677-2337 (BEER)











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