Dark Bock

A beer style from the Middle Ages

"The best drink that one knows is called Ainpöckisch beer". This word is attributed to Martin Luther. In 1525, the town of Wittenberg gave him several barrels of strong beer from Einbeck for his wedding with Katharina von Bora. 

The brewing industry changed with urbanization in the Middle Ages. No longer exclusively a household matter, commercial brewing became more and more popular. At first that happened mainly in regions where no viticulture could be practiced. In Europe, these included the British Isles, northern France, Flanders and large parts of northern Germany.

Einbeck obtained its town charter in 1279 and became the regional center of hop beer. By the middle of the fourteenth century at the latest, Einbeck beer was exported. With the entry of the city into the Hanseatic League, 1368, production and trade of Einbeck beer increased sharply. It became a fashionable drink of the late Middle Ages.

Numerous citizens, in the 14th century there are said to have been 700, were granted brewing rights without any quantity restrictions. Production was decentralized; sales and marketing were organized by the city council. Above all, there was already municipal quality control at that time, which is probably the reason for the good reputation. The strong beer from Einbeck was exported to Antwerp, Riga, Stockholm, Reval and Munich, among other places.

In 1612, Maximilian brought the Einbeck brewmaster Elias Pichler to the Hofbräuhaus in Munich. He brewed Einbeck's beer - the Bavarian dialect probably soon turned the word "Einbeck" into "Bock". The catchy name for certain strong beers persists to this day.
 Dark Bocks of today are reminiscent of their ancestors. Beers in general used to be much darker, even those in the lower alcohol classes.

Unlike in Germany, where dark bucks abound in large numbers, they were almost extinct in Austria. Reason enough for Hannes Leitner, the brewmaster at the Braucommune in Freistadt, to produce a "Black Bock" for the first time in 2014. The black beast immediately won a European Beer Star in gold, followed by bronze in 2020.

German-Style Dunkler Bock is among the first categories at the European Beer Star. Until 2017, it was dominated by German breweries. At that time, a Brazilian beer, Baden Baden Bock, won ahead of a Spanish one, 1906 Black Coupage, and a Dutch one, Hertog Jan Bockbier. Black Coupage from Hijos de Rivera also won in 2019 (gold), 2020 (silver), 2021 (bronze) and again gold in 2022, making it the most successful German-Style Doppelbock Dunkel in the competition. 

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