When you’re familiar with the history of a beer and how it’s supposed to taste, understanding when it’s quality or not becomes easier than ever. Maibock beer, for example, is an incredibly popular beer that almost no one knows anything about! But, that’s exactly why HomeBrewing Blog is here to help.
Below, we’re discussing everything you need to know about Maibock beer. From how it’s made to its characteristics and even our favorite brews, you’ll be more than familiar with Maibocks by the time we’re done. Soon, you’re going to want to brew these babies for yourself. (We can help you with that, too!)
The History of Maibock Beer
In order to get the fullest understanding of a beer, you want to be familiar with where it came from. Unfortunately, no one is 100% certain on just how Maibock came to be, but there are some popular theories.
The most well-known story of the origin of Maibock comes from 17th century Germany. According to the legend, royal families throughout Germany were starting to become dissatisfied with their German ales, yearning for something both malty and strong.
Thus, a German brewery called Hofbräu brewed a beer inspired by a different German brewer, Einbeck, but with their own personal twists. The result was something they called “Maibock,” and it was traditionally brewed at the end of April in order to be ready for the month of May.
Over the years, these types of brews have spread to niche markets and bars throughout the US, though it still stays heavily popular in Germany more than anywhere else. However, that’s not to say that this beer isn’t worth trying; the brewers that do get their hands on this type of brew are highly praised for their Maibocks. Unfortunately, they’re just not that common over here in the States. That’s why we tend to recommend you brewing some for yourself.
Now that you’re familiar with where Maibock comes from, let’s talk about the characteristics of this special brew. From the way that it looks to the way that tastes and smells, here’s everything you need to know about Maibock beer so you can spot some for yourself.
Maibock is also commonly referred to as “heller bock” which translates to “pale bock.” This is because maibock tends to be much paler in color than other bock beer styles. These beers are going to be a light tan color, sometimes even a light copper, with a nice white foamy head. The beer itself isn’t going to be super cloudy; in fact, it’s quite clear when poured in a nice glass.
These beers should be served to you in a classic goblet-style glass to allow for full flavors and aromas to come alive. Once these beers are poured, you’ll know immediately that it’s a Maibock because of its unique lightly-roasted looking appearance.
Flavors and Aromas
When poured, you’ll be hit with a wave of caramel and floral hops. These strong scents, along with notes of malt and baked bread, will have your mouth both intrigued and water. When you taste a Maibock, you’ll experience clear notes of earth and honey, making for rustic yet sweet style beer that you’ll love at any time of the day or year.
Don’t worry: this bock isn’t too sweet nor is it too hoppy. Maibock brewers have been able to perfect the balance of sweet and hoppy inside this brew, giving you a delicate dichotomy that’s hard to accomplish in other beers.
When it comes to the composition of this beer, you’ll notice medium to fast-rising bubbles dancing throughout your glass.
This is a clear indication of its carbonation level: medium to high. In the mouth, this brew has a somewhat soft feel in the mouth that isn’t too heavy. Instead, it goes down nice and smooth, despite being riddled with bubbles. In fact, the bubbles help add the smoothness of this unique German beer.
In case you’re thinking of pairing this beer with some foods for a dinner or a party, we have you covered in that area as well. It sounds a little funny, but we’ve found that Maibocks go incredibly well with flavors of ham and swiss.
While you don’t have to make a whole ham and swiss sandwich, this lets you know that you can pair this light beer with charcuterie boards quite easily. That’s absolutely perfect for a party!
In terms of dessert, the best sweet treat to pair a Maibock with has got to be white chocolate. Specifically, white chocolate cheesecake and it’s balance of sweet and creamy go perfectly with the slightly roasted, honey notes within classic Maibocks. Does that sound delicious or what?
Best Maibock Beer
While Maibocks may be a bit difficult to come by, there are a handful that we’ve come across that are so much better than others. Here are three of our favorite Maibock beers.
Ayinger Maibock Privatbrauerei
One classic Maibock that you can’t go wrong sipping on is going to be the Ayinger Maibock Privatbrauerei. This dark yellow beer is said to have a sweet yet toasty flavor, and it has the classic smooth feeling that Maibocks are known for. Ayinger wanted to make sure their special Maibock corresponded to the springtime just right, so they made flavors light, refreshing and softened by Hallertau hops. But, that means you can only enjoy this brew seasonally, starting in March.
As one of the most famous breweries in Bavaria, Ayinger is one to trust–especially when it comes to their Maibocks. The second you taste the floral bitterness they’ve achieved in their brews, you’ll never want to drink anyone else’s.
Rogue Ale’s Dead Guy Ale
Your best bet of enjoying a high-quality Maibock here in the states is going to be from Oregon’s Rogue Brewery. Rogue crafts their Dead Guy Ale in a traditional Maibock-style to celebrate all that this type of brew has to offer. Their Dead Guy Ale boasts flavors of toffee, mat, and bitter hops, all carefully crafted to blend just as the classic German style would.
Since 2016, this particular beer has been winning award after award for its incredible flavors and unique style. Again, Maibocks aren’t incredibly well-known in the States, so when a brewery does it, they better do it well; Rogue definitely has. Luckily for you, this delicious Maibock beer is available all year round, though they offer special spooky packaging for the month of October.
Hofbräu München Maibock
If you’re looking for the most traditional Maibock possible, this is the one for you. The Hofbräu München Maibock comes from the same brewery that claims to have invented the entire style, as we talked about at the beginning.
This delicious, classic brew is best for those of you truly wanting to experience a German-style beer and all its glory. The Hofbräu München Maibock is very malty, but its strong hoppy profile balances this out well, creating an even flavor profile of bitter and sweet.
This specific brew is only available seasonally, starting in the Spring. Also, they tend to be a bit difficult to find because they’re exclusive to the Hofbräu brewery. But, if you are lucky enough to come by these incredible Maibock bottles, make sure to check them out. They’ll make you feel like you’re in the heart of Germany, right in the comfort of your own home.
Enjoying Your Own Maibock Beer
As we mentioned, it isn’t always easy finding a good Maibock beer at your local grocery store or bar. Because of this, we tend to recommend looking into brewing your own Maibock at home.
While brewing beer at home may be an unfamiliar or intimidating idea, it’s actually much easier than you think. With the right equipment, a good recipe, and a little bit of patience, you can easily get some delicious Maibock beer brewing right in your house. Just let Home Brewing Blog help you with the process.
Regardless of how you choose to enjoy your Maibock–whether you made it yourself or bought it at the store–you’ll relish in the unique, complex flavors that this German-style beer brings. Impress your friends and break out this unfamiliar beer at a party, pair it with some ham and cheese, and enjoy all that this beer has to offer. We promise, once you try this brew, you’ll absolutely fall in love.