Buzz: BockFest 2009

By AML Publisher
Photos courtesy of Bernadette Uzcategui

Bock beers were historically brewed by German monasteries during the Lenten season to offer rich nutrients to offset a time of fasting.

Bock beers were historically brewed by German monasteries during the Lenten season to offer rich nutrients to offset a time of fasting.

Two of my good friends, the Beer Yard’s Matt Guyer and Andy Dickerson, owner of the suburban Belgium sensation Teresa’s Next Door in Wayne, emailed me a few weeks ago to invite me to their upcoming April 19th Bockfest. Andy and Matt are quite the dynamic duo, in more ways than one. They are the nicest guys I know, super knowledgeable and enthusiastic about beer and so much fun to hang out with! So a Monday afternoon invitation to Teresa’s (the restaurant is closed for lunch on Mondays) to learn about Bock beers in anticipation of their event was an offer I simply could not refuse. We chatted, tasted a few samples (ok, about sixteen) and talked about what Bock beers Guyer and Dickerson recommend for the Spring 2009 season.

Since I am still a novice to the beer world and culture, the term ‘Bock beer’ was something new to me. And, as my research unveiled, there exists a most intriguing story. A style of lager beer which originated in Germany, the name ‘Bock’ stems from a corruption of the medieval brewing town of Einbeck, where they originated between the 14th and 17th century. The beers were later recreated in Munich in the 17th century. Bock is also interpreted to mean male deer or Billy goat in German and is a cognate of the English term ‘buck.’

Bocks have a long history of being brewed and consumed by Roman Catholic Monks during the Lenten time of year. Because the monks were fasting during their spring religious season, they naturally chose to brew beers that were fuller in nutrients and sustained their energy.There are several different styles of Bock beer; Bock, Maibock or Helles Bock, Double Bock and Eisbock. Bock beer, in general, is stronger than your typical lager, and is known for more of a robust malt character and somewhere between 6-7% alcohol by volume.

Teresa’s Next Door Bockfest is Sunday, April 19th starting at 11am.  Classic German fare will be served to compliment the great selection of Bock beers on draft.

Teresa’s Next Door Bockfest is Sunday, April 19th starting at 11am. Classic German fare will be served to compliment the great selection of Bock beers on draft.

Originally Bock beers were dark in color because they were brewed from high-colored malts. But, modern Bocks can be various shades-from pale in color to amber and dark. Many Bock beers have clever nods to their German roots, and the style of beer has produced some of the most creative beer art with images of monks or goats grazing the labels.

A common misconception is that Bock beers are created from the beer leftover from previous brews, known as dregs. From a brewing standpoint, this is impossible because dregs that remain after fermentation are unfermentable and any attempt to reuse the batch would result in serious bacterial contamination. Bocks are, for the most part, strong beers made with lots of malt, which produces very full-bodied ales that offer higher alcohol content than many of their counterparts.

Traditionally prepared in the fall at the end of the brewing season, when barley and hops were at their peak, Bock beers were ‘lagered’ all winter and enjoyed in late March at the beginning of the new brewing cycle. “The first thing about bock beer, that I definitely want to clarify, is the fallacy that they’re (the breweries) cleaning out the tanks. A lot of people still believe that bock beer is the leftover from the bottom of the brewer’s tank-not true! A brewery is like a surgical room in that it has to be very, very clean. They are constantly sanitizing the tanks, so it’s a myth that’s important to dispel. These are beers with a great background and come out this time of year based on their rich history,” explained Guyer.

Check back for our upcoming feature highlighting the eleven finest Bocks of the 2009 season, courtesy of Dickerson and Guyer. And, if you are looking for a great way to spend your Sunday afternoon this weekend, head over to Teresa’s Next Door, for a great celebration of Bock Beers. Zum Wohl!

Teresa’s Next Door Bockfest 2009

When: Sunday, April 19th 11am-close

Where: Teresa’s Next Door Bar
Restaurant Row/126 North Wayne Avenue, Wayne, PA

Food: Teresa’s will be serving a traditional German beer house menu which will include sausages, cabbage, and schnitzels. Brunch will not be served.

Bock beers being served will include: Hooker Doppelbock, Erie Maibock, Breckenridge Pandora’s Bock, Lancaster Doppelbock, Stegmaier Bock, Summit Maibock, Tommy Knocker Doppelbock, Sly Fox Instigator and Sam Adams Double Bock

Teresa’s Next Door Bar is located at 126 North Wayne Avenue in Wayne, PA. TND is open Monday thru Thursday 4pm-1am, Friday and Saturday 11:30am-1am and Sunday 11am-3pm for brunch. Sunday dinner is from 3-11pm. Visit teresas-cafe.com or, for more info on Bockfest, call 610-293-0119.

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1 Comments For This Post

  1. Ed Says:

    im so there, sausage and beer with friends!

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