It was probably 2009 since the last time I saw a maibock. Although not that I’ve been looking, as a proper version may well be like the Where’s Waldo of beers. A maibock, or helles bock, is one of those things that you don’t necessarily miss, but if you see it, it must be ordered…not only out of curiosity for oddball German beer styles, but I feel any brewery with the balls to make one probably does so with a labor of love.
Mai, in German, means May. Since it is May, and I happened to find a freshly made local Maibock, I thought, what the hey.
Enegren Brewing out of Moorpark up in Ventura county focuses on German-style beers, and they recently started sending cans down to Orange County. Among their hoppy pils, helles, and maibock, I must say that seeing their fresh cans of beer to be a welcome change among a sea of a thousand variations of India Pale Ale.
Their Maibock, which comes in a 16oz can, is a 7% ode to German malt and German hops that have been married together with German yeast, yet brewed in California. When poured, a creamy tuft of head develops and patiently waits to create a beer-stache on your upper lip. There’s a distinct caramelized honey note from the malt that gives way to a slightly spicy-herbal noble hop on the finish, almost like chamomile flowers.
One of the most important aspects of any German beer is that of moorishness; the thought that if there were more cans in the fridge, would you get another? After my last can…I can honestly say I wish I had one more.
What’s your favorite German-style beer? Let us know in the comments.
Find out more about Enegren Brewing and where to find EBC Beer near you at enegrenbrewing.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!