Hellerbock and doppelbock
Jelena Colic
Jelena Colic

What is bock beer?

Bock beer is a German lager. Bock is a German lager traditionally made in the fall and winter with a deep amber color. The name derives from the German word “Bock,” which means buck or goat.


The first beers of this style were brewed in the 16th century by brewers looking to create stronger beers. The alcohol increases alcohol levels while still maximizing storage life (which was especially important for brewing bocks because they had to be aged at least four months before release). In addition, they were darker than regular beers due to using roasted malts rather than pale malt, giving bocks their typical deep amber color. This method was prevalent in the fall and winter.


Today bocks are most commonly found in Germany with some international distribution. They tend to be dark lagers that often taste toast and caramel. The flavor can vary depending on whether ale yeast, bottom-fermenting yeast, or top-fermenting yeast was used during production. A traditional bock will be sweet with a spicy, chocolate-like finish. Bocks are usually 6% ABV or above.


Bock is often associated with Lent because of bock’s rich malty flavor. The end of lent is celebrated in much of Germany by holding ‘Fastnacht’ celebrations in which festivities include drinking large quantities of bock beer.


What is a Maibock beer?

A Maibock is a traditional beer of Southwestern Germany, namely the German state of Bavaria. It’s usually made in spring as its name says – in May and enjoyed throughout the year. It was first made in the 16th century by a brewer called Gabriel Sedlmayr.


Are maibock and helles bock the same beer?

As per Winning-Homebrew, the term Helles Bock or Heller Bock is basically a synonym for Maibock.

The two beers Maibock and Helles Bock are combined in the BJCP 2008 Style Guidelines since they are essentially the same beer.


Helles bock is made initially with ale yeast, and with a type of hops called Hallertau. That’s why Helles bocks tend to have slightly more hop bitterness.


It is made without fruit or spice additions; however, its flavor profile includes light chocolate, caramel notes, and a rich malt character. It has a medium body and a hazy golden color like most other lagers. The aroma is full-bodied but not heavy with slightly earthy hop flavors, and some would even say doughy, or grainy, or even slightly toasted.


Most Maibocks are still made by a traditional, intensive method of mashing called Decoction that is today a controversial topic among brewers. During this process, one part of the mash is boiled separately from the main mash and then returned to the same cooker after boiling. This method helps develop a male character, depth and chewy, lasting foam for many German brewers.


Thanks to Decoction, grain starch is converted into fermentable malt sugar that results in high alcohol content. After fermentation, Maibocks mature up to 8 weeks.


Maibock is best served in Goblet glass to maintain an attractive, frothy head that intensifies aromas.

What is Dunklesbock?

Dunklesbock is a dark lager with a taste similar to chocolate. It’s usually lighter than other types of Dunkles. Dunkle Bocks tend to be sweeter and heavier than Helles bocks too. Dunkle or dunkel bock beers can also refer to a darker version of a weissbeer, which is called Dunkler Weißbeer (dunkel means dark). Its color varies from amber to dark brown. 


Dunkles bock is full bodied, low to medium sweet malt flavour (toasted or nut-like, but not caramel), with low to medium hop bitterness. Dunkles bocks are usually higher in alcohol than Heller bocks ~ 6.3 – 7.5% ABV. 


Best served in Tulip glass.

What is Doppelbock?

The doppelbock beer style originated from monks who brewed stronger beer during the spring to last them through the summer doldrums and fasting periods. These doppelbocks were so strong.


The name refers to their high alcohol content (Doppel means double in German), which stood at twice the strength of other beers. Doppelbock beer is also famous for being incredibly smooth with a sweet aftertaste that leaves you wanting more after every sip.


In recent years doppelbocks have been enjoying popularity as an entry-level craft brew for those new to drinking craft beers, but many seasoned drinkers love it as well! This iconic German lager has something to offer to everyone.

Doppelbock is smooth with hints of caramel, chocolate, berries, and nuts. The Doppelbock’s specific flavors are more muted than many other craft beers, but it still has a robust flavor that most people enjoy drinking.


 Alcohol by volume and can be anywhere from 6% – 12%. Doppelbock is a great beer to drink in the fall, winter, or early spring. I would recommend having something hearty or salty to eat with doppelbocks because they are so rich that you will want the extra calories.


Some doppelbocks have a more pungent taste than others and are better suited for people who like the robust flavors. Also, most doppelbock beers are ‘dark lagers’ instead of ‘dark ales’, but the distinction is mainly in how they’re made (the way they’re brewed) rather than what ingredients they’re made with.


Most of the doppelbocks brewed around the world are ‘American’ style which is lighter and sweeter than doppelbocks from Germany, which are darker, richer, less sweet, and more flavorful.


The best doppelbocks are the ones that have all their flavors working together in perfect harmony so you can enjoy different layers of flavor when you drink them! This type of craft beer takes time for many people to develop an appreciation for, so don’t give up on them if they aren’t your favorite right away. You might find that you love doppelbocks in the future if you give them a chance!

 What can bock beer do for you?

Bock beer helps people relax after a hard day of work or study by lifting their spirits and warming them up. It is because of bocks high alcohol content that it has this effect on people. If you drink bock beer, then your body temperature rise’s due to the alcohol, which causes blood vessels near the skin to dilate or enlarge, making people feel warm because more heat will be released. 


This way, bock beer keeps drinkers warm during the cold winter months when all they have are hot drinks to keep them warm because fires are prohibited during this time. The rising body temperature also causes bock beer to make people more relaxed and happy because bock beers effect on the body is similar to that of alcohol. Drinking bock beer also helps one become less inhibited, leading to a better mood or night out with friends or family.


The next time you have the opportunity to try a bock beer, take the chance – it could become one of your favorite brews!

More Beer Posts

Beer Flight

What is a Beer Flight?

Have you ever ended up in a bar, beer brewery, or taproom feeling a bit more adventurous than usually wanting to taste a new type of beer but couldn’t decide which one to go for?

Read More »

Feel free to share your thoughts with us!

Love what you read? Share with your friends. 

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *