Springtime is synonymous with lots of fun things. There’s that yearly bacchanal enjoyed by students at the beach, the beginning of the baseball season, tulips. And bock beer.
This dark, robust brew can be traced to the middle ages and the German town of Einbeck. Monks in Einbeck made this especially hearty beverage for sustenance during Lent, because monks refrained from eating during the weeks preceding Easter. The extra malty bock took the edge off their hunger pangs, and added a little levity to Lenten life in the monastery, owing to an enhanced alcohol content.
After being served at some aristocratic weddings in 17th century southern Germany. Bock found eager palettes among the mainstream population. One of the earliest fans of bock was Martin Luther. Luther served bock at his wedding and the brewer was so delighted by this celebrity endorsement, he put the theologian’s picture on the label. For a time, bock was known as the ‘beer of Martin Luther’.
In the German language, the word bock also refers to a male goat, which is why pictures of goats have largely replaced the religious icon on bock beer from contemporary craft breweries.