Great River’s Aaah Bock is blessed.
Every February, Old Capitol Brew Works (which recently closed) has been hosting a celebration called Blessing of the Bock to commemorate the tasty, seasonal dunkler bock. At this fun and slightly ridiculous celebration, beer enthusiasts give speeches, say the brewer’s prayer—“our lager, which art in kegs, hallowed be thy drink”—and some even dress up as religious or magical figures as they gather around a chalice of beer and bless it.
According to Great River brewer Paul Krutzfeldt, Aaah Bock took its name from an episode of M*A*S*H. The beer was originally brewed by Jeff Allen at the former Stone City brewery in Solon. Krutzfeldt said Allen has been working with Great River Brewery in Davenport to brew the beer since 2004.
Pour Aaah Bock into a favorite pint glass. With a color that leans toward mahogany, Aaah Bock is a dark and sinister-looking lager. A finger of lightly tanned head will dissipate slowly and leave a skim and thin collar of foam. The smell is fruity and sweet like a maibock with scents of apple, raisin, prune, strawberry licorice, sweet caramel and barnyard grassiness reminiscent of German helles.
Aaah Bock has a pleasant, medium-bodied mouthfeel. The flavor is sweet at first, but toasted malt slowly emerges to provide balance. Tastes of apple, raisin, prune, strawberry licorice, caramel and helles grassiness are also noticeable.
Serving temperature: 45–50 ºF
Alcohol content: 6 percent ABV
Food pairings: Randy Mosher’s Tasting Beer recommends pairing the style with rich food, like cheesecake and apple strudel, or spicy cuisine, like Thai.
Where to buy: The beer is available at most area beer retailers, especially local Hy-Vee stores. It is also on tap at area bars.
Price: Around $9 per four-pack.
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 172