DAVIS, Calif. — Spring is almost here, and with it comes its many traditions and celebrations. Sudwerk Brewing Company is ready with its popular seasonal, the Mai Bock Spring Lager. The beer, which sold out quickly last year, debuts this week.
Bocks, like Sudwerk’s Mai Bock Spring Lager and Doppel Bock Ultimator (winter seasonal), are stronger lagers. The style originated in the 14th century, when Catholic monks in Germany wanted a beer with higher nutritional content and alcohol — as a substitute for food during fasting.
“They intentionally put more grains in the beer for nutritional purposes, so they could sustain themselves while they weren’t eating,” said Ryan Fry, co-owner of Sudwerk Brewery.
The Mai Bock, or “May Bock” remains a tradition today, consumed at spring festivals, weddings, and celebrations like St. Patrick’s Day, Passover and Easter.
The Sudwerk Mai Bock Spring Lager, at 7.5 percent ABV, is higher alcohol than the brewery’s signature year-round lagers, but on par with many West Coast ales. Brewed with Pilsner and Munich malts, and all German hops, it has a honey-grain sweetness, complemented by a balanced, herbal bite. With a medium bitterness of 40 IBU, the Mai Bock is a true testament to a bock.
“It drinks as a refreshing, everyday beer, yet provides a festive kick when you stand up from the table,” Fry said.
The Mai Bock Spring Lager is available in six packs of 12-ounce bottles, and 15.5- and 5.16-gallon kegs, through the end of May. Distribution of bottles and kegs include major retailers and bars in the Sacramento and San Francisco area, and select locations in Southern California and Arizona.
Sudwerk will celebrate Mai Bock’s debut at a free event on Friday at the Sudwerk Dock store, from 4 to 8 p.m. Three versions of the Mai Bock will be on tap, along with and an unfiltered dry-hopped version poured from a cask. There will also be a “fresh off-the-line special” from 5 to 8 p.m. today at the Dock Store. Six packs of 12-ouncers, bottled today, will be available to purchase for a special price.