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Also Known As:   Bock, Winterbock, Weihnactsbock, Weihnachtsbier

All strong, higher-alcohol beers are known as Bockbiers, and all Bockbiers have one aspect in common: Their extract content is at least 16%.

Bockbiers vary greatly in color and strength. Many variations are brewed for a specific season, such as Weihnachtsbock (Christmas-Bock).

Photo: © Deutsche Brauer-Bund
Classification:  Starkbier

Type of Beer:  Lager

Alcohol Content:  6.5-8%

Extract Value:  16% or more

IBU:  16-35

Region:  Bavaria

Well Known Brands

Beer Characteristics
Smooth, malty sweetness, rich. Gentle, subdued bitterness. No hops aroma. Usually slightly dark in appearance.

Serving Suggestions
Because of its richness, Bockbier is a specialty that should be sipped, not guzzled.

The origins of Bockbier date back to the 13th century in the town of Einbeck (in the German state of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen). Einbeck was famous for a strong dark ale made from wheat and barley. This beer was exported to many different places, including Munich (München), where it was favored over the local brew.

The beers from the north were very expensive and were a constant drain on Bavaria's money supply. So, in 1590, Duke Wilhelm V, who ran his own brewery in the city of Landshut, created a strong, brown lager. One year later, he opened a brewery in Munich (today this is the site of the famous Hofbräuhaus). His strong beer was still no match to the brew from Einbeck.

Wilhelm V's successor, Duke Maximilian I, wanted to put an end to the dominance of northern beer. In 1612, he convinced one of the brewers from Einbeck to come to Munich and create an authentic copy of the famous original Einbecker beer. Under Bavarian influence, the strong ale from Einbeck was converted to a strong lager, which is what we know today as Bockbier. 


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