Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Brew Kettle Big Horn Bock

Germany has a rich beer history, going back centuries.  For example, during the 14th century, brewers in the town of Einbeck brewed a dark, lightly hopped but very malty ale.  A couple of hundred years later, in the 16th century, brewers in Munich adopted the beer style, but adapted it to the lager style.  Supposedly, Bavarians would pronounce the town "Einbeck" as "ein Bock," and, hence the beer of Einbeck got its name, "Bock."  (It should be noted that "ein Bock" also means "billy goat.")

Thousands of miles away from Bavaria, The Brew Kettle brews its "Big Horn Bock."  This beer is not brewed in the traditional bock style; instead, it is brewed in the helles style.  The "helles" style dates back to the Spaten Brewery, which began to brew lighter beers, which it dubbed as "helles," which is German for light colored.  The brewers referred to their beers as "helles" to distinguish them from doppelbocks.  Eventually, brewers tried to strike a balance between the two beers, brewing a bock beer in the helles style, which is also known as a Maibock.

The Big Horn Bock pours an amber color, which what a little surprising to me, because I expected a more golden color.  However, amber colors are certainly within the Helles Bock style.  The aroma of the beer is relatively light, especially compared to some of the recent beers that I've reviewed.  There is a slight malty nose to the beer.  The taste of the beer heavily emphasizes the malts, with almost no hop flavors to be found.  I expected a little more of a hop flavor, but, I was certainly not disappointed in any way.  This is a good beer that reflects its style.

The Big Horn Bock is a very drinkable beer and it is a good beer for people who do not like hoppy beers like pale ales.  Although the beer is available in bottles, those bottles are sold at The Brew Kettle restaurant in Strongsville.


For more on the history of bock beers and helles beers, check out Wikipedia.  For more about the Maibock or Helles Bock style, check out the Beer Certification Judge Program.

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