Tasting: October 15, 2011
Style: Maibock/Helles Bock
As kids from New Jersey, we often spent time down at the Jersey shore during the summer. When we did a day trip, my father used to pack up the car at 5:00 a.m. to make sure we were there early. Ridiculously early. I recall that we would arrive on the beach only to be asked to leave the beach so they could open for business.
One of the landmarks along the way was the Pabst Brewery along the Garden State Parkway in Newark. That was about our halfway point of our trip. If you aren’t familiar, the brewery was known for two things other than making beer. For one, it had this enormous Pabst beer bottle perched high above the brewery and second, the brewery seemingly was surrounded by thousands of graves. I wondered about where they got the water to brew the beer. I had deduced that they used underground wells and that the water had soaked through the cemetery washing over the coffins and skeletons inside. Therefore, I came to the conclusion that Pabst beer was brewed from dead people and began calling it “dead people beer”. I’m assuming now that my theory wasn’t correct and that the Pabst bottle acted as the holding tank for all their brewing water that I hope came from somewhere else.
I’ll fast forward a few years later to that beer of the month club my family gifted me. One of my first offerings was Dead Guy Ale. It made me laugh as I quickly associated it with my dead people beer except they were more specific. It was a man and from men they make ale. I recall liking it at the time and found myself drinking it regularly for about ten years or so. Somewhere along the way, the dead guy fell out of my rotation. I wonder if this will be like the other twenty year old craft beer that was fine for the time but outdated. We’ll see.
This one is a maibock with a 6.5% ABV. As mentioned in my Glossary, bock is a dark malty lager. Maibock is a paler and hoppier version of a bock. This ruby/orange brew has quite a sweet malt nose. A little astringency in the first sip, but it parts to reveal that sweet malt. Hops are subdued but present. Picking up some biscuit flavors as few sips in. Medium to lightish body. Finish is a little clunky and leaves an off flavor. Time hasn’t passed this one by, it’s still a nice beer and a good example of the style. I’ll put it at 85 points.