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Blessing of the Bock


Bock beer is a strong, malty German-style lager named for the northern German town of Einbeck, near Hanover, and a goat is often used as a symbol of the style. Original gravity should be at least 16.5 Plato (1.066), with an alcohol content of 6.4-7.6% (by volume). Dopplebocks are even stronger, with the minimum gravity picking up where Bocks leave off, at 18.5 Plato (1.074). A number of the historic regional breweries in the United States (including three in Wisconsin) produce their own version of bock beers, which fall short of the maltiness and alcoholic strength of traditional bock beers, but can be quite enjoyable beers on their own terms. U.S. craft brewers, however, have looked to the German tradition in producing their bock beers. Veteran Wisconsin craft brewers Capital, Lakefront, and Sprecher, as well as several of the newer ones, brew some excellent examples of the Bock, Maibock, and Dopplebock styles.

Perhaps it is no surprise that a city with Milwaukee's German heritage would be host to an event such as the Blessing of the Bock. The event originated with Milwaukee's Lakefront Brewery, but is now organised by John Zutz, a former brewer at Lakefront, and the Blessing is now a full scale craft beer festival with more than two dozen brewers serving their bocks and other seasonal beers. One thing that has remained since the days in the basement of Saint-Casimir's is the Blessing ceremony performed by a local priest. Read what others have written about this classic event, and be sure not to miss it. Use your "back" button to return to this page after you read the articles.

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Updated 4 March 2000
Bob "Now go have a beer" Paolino

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