This hearty brew was our first original recipe, brewed with love for the first time during the blizzard of December 2009. The original idea we had in mind for this beer was our own unique take on the Bock style of beers, with a typically sweet and heavy character; however, we didn’t stick to any strict guidelines for the style; we just threw together what sounded right.
The first twist for this beer that we had planned from the start was to produce it with a Belgian Ale yeast instead of the typical Lager yeast used for Bock-style beers. The grain bill was hefty compared to anything we had done to date, but all the more sugars to ferment! To balance this heavy brew, we decided to throw in more hops at the last minute than we had originally planned, in turn producing a batch that can only be referred to as unique.
The aroma and flavor of the unfermented wort gave us what we hoped was a solid idea of what to expect, but over the first few days it dramatically changed. By the time this brew was ready for secondary fermentation, it had altered itself far more than originally expected. By this point, we realized we had quite the monster on our hands! It was not until it was finally bottled and matured for a few more weeks until we were finally able to confirm that what we had created was certainly not a Bock.
While we still refer to this brew as the “Ale Bock,” the name is certainly deceiving. Perhaps one of the more balanced beers we’ve tasted, it combines a particularly interesting blend of bitter and sweet while leaving one to wonder just where it fits into the broad spectrum of beer styles. One could say, if this were a Bock of any kind, it certainly must be the “worst” Bock, at least in Philadelphia. But perhaps we’ve created more of a hop-lover’s Bock instead.