For this edition of the monthly beer blogging jamboree Jon Abernathy has asked us to think about Bock, which left us in a pickle.
You see, in multiple UK cities over the course of several weeks, we haven’t seen a single Bock for sale. Perhaps surprisingly there was a Cornish Bock from St Austell (very decent, too) but if it still exists, it’s in deep hiding.
So we were going to swerve this Session altogether until, researching an article on Michael ‘The Beer Hunter’ Jackson last week, we got thinking about Dortmunder.
Dortmunder, like Bock, is one of the 25 or so varieties of beer listed in the style guide in Jackson’s original World Guide to Beer back in 1977, and of which multiple examples were listed in our Bible, his 1998 throwaway, picture-heavy Great Beer Guide. But we can’t remember the last time we encountered anything calling itself a Dortmunder. (Although there are a few Exports around.)
Absent from his 1977 style guide, however, is Gose, examples of which are fairly easy to come by these days. That’s odd, isn’t it? That sour beer with salt and coriander should be more readily available than what you’d think might be a more accessible strong lager.
Well, maybe not. To many drinkers — even those with quaite refained palates — lager is lager is lager, and not terribly interesting. And a strong lager with a narrower focus on unsexy malt over hops is an even harder sell in 2017, especially to British drinkers who really do expect fireworks to justify an ABV of more than 5%.
UPDATE 11:20: Oh, except that we did have a Dortmunder at BrewDog Bristol in February. No Bock, though.
BrewDog all over those BJCP/Michael Jackson styles: Dortmunder! Eight Shilling! And 'Live' amber ale, i.e. cask bitter, sort of. [Bailey] pic.twitter.com/iz26o8ZzR5
— Boak and Bailey (@BoakandBailey) February 3, 2017