Beer Style: Bock Beer

Bock is a strong German lager that is highly popular among craft beer lovers. It has been associated with special occasions and good times for hundreds of years. The German word “bock” translates to goat, and you will often see this animal displayed on packaging, and celebrated during events associated with bock beer.

Many festivals around the country are held each year in celebration of this style, including Bock Fest in Los Angeles, and Bockfest in Cincinnati. This craft beer is always a popular selection to stock in your bar, particularly around spring and summertime.


The origin of this German craft beer is somewhat of a mystery, and even the name is fought over. The style first known as bock is believed to have originated in the 14th century. It was considered “liquid bread” to monks, as it was also a useful substitute for food during fasting. Historically served during celebrations and special occasions, it represents the emergence of life, and the beginning of a new season.


Due to the role it played in sustenance, bock was originally brewed as a dark beer. Modern styles can range in color from light copper to a deep brown, and alcohol content varies across the board.

Bock beer is a bottom fermenting lager, that is generally served from 45-50 °F in a tulip or pint glass. The character is robust, with a balance of sweetness and toasted malt. Most bocks are light in hops, with an assertive bitterness. The beer pairs well with grilled meats, aged cheeses and chocolate.


Several sub-styles of bock beer exist, as can be expected for any beverage that has been around for centuries. The following are the 4 most popular styles of the German brew:


  • Traditional – This is the oldest style of bock, and is considered the original. The beer is a clear consistency, and the colors range from light copper to brown. Traditional bocks have a bountiful head, with a smooth mouthfeel.ABV:6.3% – 7.2%
  • Maibock – Also referred to as heller bock or helles bock, it has the same strength as the traditional style, but has more of a hops presence. The newest of styles, it is frequently served as a seasonal beer in springtime.ABV: 6.3% – 7.4%
  • Doppelbock – First brewed in Munich, this is a sweeter bock, with a much higher ABV than the traditional style. The colors range from dark gold to dark brown, and the style has a rich, creamy head.ABV: 7% – 12%
  • Eisbock – This highly specialized version of bock is actually made by partially freezing a Doppelbock, and removing the ice water for concentration. The color is a deep copper, with a thin head, and the flavor is rich and sweet.ABV: 9% – 13%


Although these are the four main types of bock beer, there is a large variety of styles, as people have experimented with the brewing process for hundred of years.

Popular Choices

The following are some popular selections of bock beer to consider when stocking your bar:

Rockefeller Bock – Brewed at the Great Lakes Brewing Co., this brand of bock is a deep mahogany color, with a rich malt hinting at chocolate and raisins. It has an ABV of 7.5%.

Troegenator Double Bock –   Troegs Brewing Co., an opaque maple brown, this style is incredibly smooth, with a small head. The TDB has a light mouthfeel, and the ABV is 8.2%.

Butt Head Bock – The Tommyknocker Brewery & Pub is home to this unique style of bock. It has an 8.2% ABV with a cloudy copper-brown color. The aroma is a rich malt, with an earthy hops flavor.

If you decide that bock beer is a style you’d like to start serving in your bar, be prepared for the rush. This incredibly popular craft beer practically sells itself, and when you need a little help, TapHunter is a great program to help you market the new brew.

The second you tap the keg, their simple dashboard allows you to blast all of your social media channels with the good news. Customers can also install the TapHunter app and receive push notifications when you’re stocked and ready to pour with their favorite beer.

The beauty of the craft beer industry is that it’s not just a beer, it’s an experience. Learning about the different styles of beer, and passing that knowledge on to patrons and the community, is what this industry is all about!

Bars and Restaurants – Want to save hours daily, drive thirsty patrons through your door and create an engaging experience for your customers? Learn more about how TapHunter can help your business today!