In Search of Maibock

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by HorseheadsHophead, May 22, 2019.

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  1. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    With regard to Cultivator, perhaps a bit of "local" information would help.

    A Maibock is the beer of Spring. Originally Cultivator was first brewed as part of a series of beers representing the annual cycle of growing and harvesting hops. In the annual cycle of growing hops a cultivator is used in the spring to prepare the ground for the growing season.

    Similarly another beer in the series is "Hop Knife" representing harvest time for the hops. A third beer in the series is "Blizzard of Hops" and is a winter seasonal.

    Blizzard of Hops
     
    #121 drtth, May 28, 2019
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
  2. rodndtube

    rodndtube Initiate (163) Feb 24, 2007 Maryland

    I am a fan of Troegs, but giving a dopplebock name (ending in -ator) is sacrilege if the bier is a bock. And hair color has nothing to do with it. Before ya know it there will be a pass in naming a helles a dunkel because it was brewed in the darkness of winter :wink:
     
  3. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,616) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Well, playing with words and terms because of ignorance or marketing cuteness is one thing, but sacrilege may be a bit strong. Then again, those Paulaner Monks do wield some power... :wink:
    I'm waiting for a U.S. brewery to make the first Heller Dunkel -- maybe a Dunkel Helles. :grin:
     
    #123 steveh, May 28, 2019
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
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  4. KarlHungus

    KarlHungus Poo-Bah (3,459) Feb 19, 2005 Minnesota
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    Eight or nine years ago Dark Horse made what they called a dark kolsch. It tasted like they accidentally dumped some darker malt into what they intended to be an actual kolsch, and said 'screw it, we'll sell it anyway'. It was truly bad.
     
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  5. SSGCujo

    SSGCujo Disciple (340) Jul 12, 2016 Wisconsin

    Luckily, living in Wisconsin, there's a wide variety of Maibocks. You can't go wrong with Hofbrau or Ayinger. I think think these are both available throughout the US. Sometimes you may have to go to a bigger market area to find what you want.
     
  6. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Sometime playing with words in beer naming can be fun though. Why else would a beer be called “two goats”? :wink:
     
  7. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,944) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
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    Sometimes things get crazy and there's THREE goats...

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. rodndtube

    rodndtube Initiate (163) Feb 24, 2007 Maryland

    One of the trendies will soon name a HelleSchwarzbier, "a rye ale" using hellestau smoked malteds, no doubt.
     
  9. Jacobier10

    Jacobier10 Poo-Bah (2,559) Feb 23, 2004 New Jersey
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    Oh, things definitely got crazy with that beer.
     
  10. cheeseheadinMinneapolis

    cheeseheadinMinneapolis Zealot (533) Sep 20, 2017 Minnesota

    ya it wasn't my favorite bock
     
  11. cheeseheadinMinneapolis

    cheeseheadinMinneapolis Zealot (533) Sep 20, 2017 Minnesota

  12. cheeseheadinMinneapolis

    cheeseheadinMinneapolis Zealot (533) Sep 20, 2017 Minnesota

    I see faces/heads in that mug, is it a doctored up pic? LOL
     
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  13. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,616) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Just because it's lighter in color? Nah, Doppelbocks can run from 6 to 25 SRM. Besides, Capital calls it a Doppelbock.
    Wow, those Penn breweries really want to mix up their styles. :wink:
    I haven't seen Ayinger's Maibock around the N. Eastern Illinois area in many years (in bottles, anyway). Have you found it in Wisconsin -- and if so, where?
     
  14. rodndtube

    rodndtube Initiate (163) Feb 24, 2007 Maryland

    They do distinguish this from their dark dopplebock, so I can buy into it, but no claim to be a double maibock.
     
  15. rodndtube

    rodndtube Initiate (163) Feb 24, 2007 Maryland

    Looked it up--Czech Republic brewery name. Their pils sounds like one of those pils I find so very enchanting by Czech style.
     
  16. cheeseheadinMinneapolis

    cheeseheadinMinneapolis Zealot (533) Sep 20, 2017 Minnesota

    to me it has the flavor profile of a strong maibock
     
  17. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,616) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    The Capital Blonde Doppel and Maibock used to be huge favorites of mine, then the original brewmaster moved on to his own thing.

    Back when, the Maibock was always a little more dry, yet still having a good, chewy maltiness -- whereas the Doppelbock had a bigger, richer body -- which might be construed as "stronger," but it's really more; juicier, even sweeter (but still with a clean, dry finish).

    I can only speak of the Maibock from Capital these days, and it's scared me from the brewery. I have the feeling that the Doppel is nowhere near as good as it once was, but I'm not dropping $13 to prove my suspicion.

    To the overall differences between Maibock and lighter Doppelbocks, U.S. brewers may just "amp up" their recipes from one to another, but a good brewer understands that it takes more than throwing more malt at a recipe to make it "doppel."
     
  18. Roadkizzle

    Roadkizzle Aspirant (228) Nov 6, 2007 Texas

    Saint Arnold has a dark kölsch style beer that they call Santo. It's a pretty good beer and their regular kölsch style beer is also pretty good.
    https://www.saintarnold.com/year-round-beers/
     
  19. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (2,079) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
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    If I could only find a local that had that on tap I could die a happy man.
     
  20. Jacobier10

    Jacobier10 Poo-Bah (2,559) Feb 23, 2004 New Jersey
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    Probably because it resembled Kikkoman more than it did a Bockbier.
     
  21. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,782) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    I get your annoyance that when you buy an "-ator" beer you want it to be recognizable as a Doppelbock in the Salvator mold. That makes sense... but your "sacrilege" comment is too extreme. It's more fair to say that it's sacrilege if it isn't a Bock. Doppelbocks and Maibocks are all just subsets of Bockbier.

    "-ator" beers came to be because Salvatorbier used to be considered a beer style by brewers. That came to an end when Zacherl took legal measures to make it their brand name and other brewers were forced to rename their beer. Those brewers adopted the -ator tradition as a result. Back then, Salvator beers didn't fully resemble the Doppelbocks of today. They were about 5% ABV. Maybe we should instead complain if an -ator beer isn't 5% ABV. :wink: A Doppelbock of today would be bigger than that by definition, but there's a lot of leeway to Doppelbocks outside of that.

    Look at the two most popular -ator beers classified as Maibocks on BeerAdvocate. Let's look at what the brewers call these beers instead. Troegs calls Cultivator a Helles Bock. It's 6.9% ABV (which is a stronger beer than the iconic Celebrator). Abita calls Andygator a Helles Doppelbock. It's 8% ABV. Both of these beers supposedly have about the same IBUs as Celebrator. They are classified here as Maibocks because the old BeerAdvocate style list combined Maibock and Helles Bock into one category and then they eventually dropped the "Helles Bock" from the category name (but kept "Heller Bock" in the style description). People here don't seem to like the idea of putting pale Bocks in the Doppelbock category even though there's no reason not to (actually, there are good reasons why we should).

    So... why exactly is it in bad form for these beers to use -ator?
     
  22. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,944) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
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    If we keep wanking on about these subtle differences in styles, then we all become "Masturb-ators".
     
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  23. rodndtube

    rodndtube Initiate (163) Feb 24, 2007 Maryland

    Those two examples are probably misclassified by BA as maibocks... anyway, I will look forward to next Lenten season for some good maibocks.
     
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  24. Roadkizzle

    Roadkizzle Aspirant (228) Nov 6, 2007 Texas

    It had been many years since I tried a Dead Guy Ale, so I bought one at Total Wine when I went yesterday.

    I tried it last night and really the only comparable beer that I could think of was the Hofbrau Maibock 6-pack I went through a couple of weeks ago. It had similar maltiness, alcohol flavor, and all.

    I have no idea how to classify the Dead Guy if not as a Maibock. I'm sure there were some esters from the ale yeast but malt combined with alcohol taste fruity often to me so the Hofbrau did as well.

    As an aside. I recently bought a bottle of aged soy sauce from my local Asian market and whenever I smell it I can't get over how much it smells like an imperial stout.
     
  25. Jacobier10

    Jacobier10 Poo-Bah (2,559) Feb 23, 2004 New Jersey
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    It's fermented with Pacman yeast (top-fermenting) and as far I know does not go through any extended lagering/conditioning. I'd consider it an amber ale.
     
  26. FatBoyGotSwagger

    FatBoyGotSwagger Poo-Bah (2,017) Apr 4, 2009 Pennsylvania
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    So aside from one forgettable German maibock the only other one available for order this year was dead guy. My beer guy told me this today when I asked if the sly fox one was distributed and we both laughed when I told him the dead guy was questionable at best.

    I wonder if it will even be a beer style next year.
     
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  27. cheeseheadinMinneapolis

    cheeseheadinMinneapolis Zealot (533) Sep 20, 2017 Minnesota

    I had Dead Guy on tap last weekend at a bar: didn't taste very good to me, barely a MaiBock in style to me but It didn't seem very fresh so......

    There were plenty of Mai Bock's in MN/WI this year. true some of them were taproom/crowler only
     
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  28. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,621) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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  29. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,944) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
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    Interesting. I might revisit this beer for the hell of it. I think it's been years since I had it.

    This one is like Double Bag from Long Trail for me. When I first started getting into craft beer I would just look up the styles and seek out the highest rated in each style on Beer Advocate.

    As a result I had Double Bag (an "Altiber") and Dead Guy (a "Maibock"). If I recall correctly I did like both, but had no idea what either style was supposed to taste like.
     
  30. Roadkizzle

    Roadkizzle Aspirant (228) Nov 6, 2007 Texas

    I understand that it's made with Rogue's ale yeast that they use for everything (except maybe their pilsner? I don't know)

    But my question is why does that really matter? And why would it matter if it was lagered or not?
    When going on a road trip I'll reach the same destination as you even if we take different routes.

    I got the beer expecting it to be something to be obviously not a Maibock. But when I was drinking it all I could find were similarities to the Hofbrau Maibocks I was just drinking a little while ago.

    I see so many people holding up the HB Maibock as basically a paragon of the style and Dead Guy lambasted as something that shouldn't even be in the same conversation... But when I drank them both I surprisingly found them much more similar than not.
     
  31. Roadkizzle

    Roadkizzle Aspirant (228) Nov 6, 2007 Texas

    When I was looking to try Maibock's I did have an idea of what they were supposed to be from a German brewery although it's accuracy to traditional Maibock's may be questionable itself.

    I had my first Maibock when I went to Germany for my internship in 2008 and tried the one in Dortmund from Wenker am Markt.

    I came back looking for Maibock's. I tried the local ones. I was able to get Summit and Einbecker even though I don't think either were distributing to Texas at the time. I tried at least one other German one.

    Most I found were either too dry or too dark and caramelly sweet.

    I remember the Wenker Maibock being pale and bready with a fairly strong initial impression of sweetness but drying up upon swallowing.

    The beer i settled on being closest that was available in Texas was Dead Guy Ale.

    The can that I tried this year wasn't like I remember it. It was darker and had melanoidin or caramelly flavors with the alcohol yielding fruity impressions. That's what I found in the HB.
     
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  32. Jacobier10

    Jacobier10 Poo-Bah (2,559) Feb 23, 2004 New Jersey
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    Whether it matters or not is up to the drinker. If you're drinking Dead Guy to learn the characteristics and techniques that make a bock beer what it is, then you're going to be misguided. On the other hand, whether it falls into a certain style category shouldn't have an effect on your enjoyment of it. Did you like the beer or not? Would you drink it again? I don't think anyone who likes Dead Guy is going to say, "It's good, but they call it a Maibock and it's not lagered so I think I'm going to stop buying it."
     
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  33. cheeseheadinMinneapolis

    cheeseheadinMinneapolis Zealot (533) Sep 20, 2017 Minnesota

    Over Memorial day weekend I had Hofbrau Maibock on tap at a bar and bought a 6 pack. I think the beer on tap had a stronger flavor and seemed fresher than the bottles. I am drinking a bottle now. I like it but It's not my favorite Miabock. Is this really what a maibock is supposed to be?
     
  34. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,944) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
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    I would check the date on the bottles. Many stores will often carry LAST YEAR'S, which sucks.
     
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  35. cheeseheadinMinneapolis

    cheeseheadinMinneapolis Zealot (533) Sep 20, 2017 Minnesota

    L 036 S 06:56 This is the only codes i can find on the bottle
     
  36. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,944) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
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    "hofbrau- there is two sets of numbers/letters on the bottom of back label. look for the first set following the letter "L", in this case "L 119 E" the 119 is the day in the year it was bottled, the E is the year as in 2001=a, 2002=b, ect. so 119 E= the 119th day of 2005"


    So yours was bottled February 5th of this year. Four months old isn't bad for an import. At it's definitely not last year's!
     
  37. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,616) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    S is the 19th letter in the alphabet -- signifying your beer was bottled on the 36th day of 2019 -- this year's bottling.

    As to the HB rendition of Maibock, it's always been a bit bigger and maltier than others. HB calls it "Ur Maibock," meaning it's supposed to be what Maibock was when it was first brewed.
     
  38. Roadkizzle

    Roadkizzle Aspirant (228) Nov 6, 2007 Texas

    There is no way to learn techniques that make any beer by drinking it.

    The perceptible characteristics from drinking it will say whether or not it meets a style.
    If one beer is indistinguishable from another then drinking it will tell you what the other beer tastes like. I'm not saying that the Dead Guy Ale is indistinguishable from HB Maibock. I'm sure if I drank them together I could pick out differences.

    But from my recent (limited) experience of drinking the HB Maibock sixer then the Dead Guy Ale I could comfortably say that they seemed to be in the same ballpark.

    I think that a lot of people are influenced by their expectations and feelings. They want a beer from a maligned craft brewery using non traditional processes to be different from a beer from a German brewery using very traditional methods.
    So they taste dark sugars in the American beer and say it's caramel. They taste dark sugars in the German beer and say they're melanoidins.
    Both beers have fruity flavors but people say the American beer has yeast esters but say the fruity flavors in the German beer are fine because they're from the malt and/or alcohol.
     
  39. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,621) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    I would change the words "a lot" in this statement to "most".

    What you are describing here is bias. The proper way to conduct a beer assessment/tasting is totally blind.

    Cheers!
     
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  40. Roadkizzle

    Roadkizzle Aspirant (228) Nov 6, 2007 Texas

    Yes everyone is subject to bias.

    I was more trying to say that a lot of people here have a specific bias for German beers brewed by German breweries.
     
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