The roots of Bock beer go back all the way to the 1300s in Einbeck, Germany, where wheat, barley, and noble hops were brewed well ahead of Reinheitsgebot, the German purity law that stated beer must be brewed with barley, water, and hops in the early 1500s.
“Our Weizenbock uses all wheat and Munich malt,” notes Greg Gerovac, co-owner and brewer at Anaheim Brewery. Over their seven-year history, they’ve made Winter Wheat, a wishbone-pulling Dunkelweizen (dark wheat beer) that is rich in traditional ingredients reminiscent of a fresh loaf of banana bread, but never a wheaty-bock with higher alcohol.
“This is the first time we’ve made a Weizenbock,” says Barbara Gerovac (co-owner), “we even did a decoction mash with this one,” she continued. Decocting is a technique typically used to pull a special character out of heirloom malts that aren’t fully modified. Some brewers see the step as totally irrelevant with today’s modern malts, but it seems like the proof is in the pudding. Brewers that decoct their wheat beers usually end up with bit of extra complexity worthy of geeking out on.
Decoction mashing is simply taking a thick portion of the water-grain mix, heating it up to boiling (sort of like making oatmeal for breakfast), then pumping that portion back to the original mash. Doing so breaks down the cell structure of the grains, making it easier for yeast to break down (yielding higher alcohol), and also adding some toasty bread notes.
Anaheim’s Weizenbock is all that, where a $7 pint on a rainy night can take home their logo’d Weizen glass for an extra $3. The beer is every bit as historic as it is delicious, with ample notes of toasty bread with apricot-stonefruity jam. Yum!
Get it for a limited time at Anaheim Brewery, 336 S Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim // anaheimbrew.com
Greg Nagel has been writing about beer since 2011, is an avid homebrewer of wine, cider, and beer, is a certified Cicerone Beer Server, level 1 WSET in Wine, a podcaster with the Four Brewers Show, and runs a yearly beer festival called Firkfest happening this June!