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Tim Bissell Tim Bissell
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Three Pint Stance - It’s gonna be Mai(bock)

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First off, I want to thank everyone who sent in limericks this week. The grand total of submitted limericks (Allen and my contributions aside) now sits at … two, both from readers from England.

(Old England is REALLY making you look bad, New England.)

Anyway, more on limericks later. For now, we have a beer style to explore!

So, I was looking at the calendar last night and I noticed it was the last day of April. Being a 30-something goofball who both grew up with crappy boy band music and also loves stupid internet memes, naturally I thought of the Justin Timberlake meme that says, “It’s gonna be May.” You might not find it funny, but rest assured, it is hilarious.

“Why are you talking about stupid memes, Tim?” The reader seemed to say. Well, I mention this because as I was giggling about my meme, I also remembered that when “It’s gonna be May,” it’s also gonna be Maibock season!

What is a Maibock? Great question, albeit one you didn’t really need to ask. I was getting there. Try not to interrupt, please.

Simply put, a Maibock is a Bock, or strong German beer, made specifically to be enjoyed in the month of May! Why do the Germans make a beer specifically for May? Well, it’s a bit convoluted, but let’s see if we can get to the answer in less than 200 words.

Back in the day, almost 1,000 years ago, Germans were fiddling with all types of beer recipes; different areas of the country began to develop individual styles. The town of Einbeck began to gain notice for their strong, dark beer. The folks in Bavaria took quite a liking to this strong style, but they also talked funny and pronounced it Ein-BOCK. This means “goat” so that’s why you see goats on the labels of most Bock style beers.

That’s how Bock became a style, but what about Maibock? Well, not quite so far back in the day as the last time (think 1800ish), German brewers became smitten with kiln dried malt. This allowed for the production of lighter, more golden-colored malts and styles like Kolsch and Pilsner became popular. In an effort to keep up with the times, Bock producers came up with a strong beer recipe that used those lighter malts and thus the Maibock was born! Yay!

If you are looking for a Maibock, try out My Bock Hurts Like Helles from Jack’s Abbey. Or you could pick up one of the many import Maibocks that should be available at your local craft beer shop. And hey - Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale is a Maibock, so if you see that one on tap and haven’t had it in a while, maybe give it a shot!

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