You may be well versed in beer, but there's a good chance you have never heard of an eisbock beer. This is one of those uncommon German styles of beer and well worth some exploration. You probably won't find one at any old liquor store, as they take time to produce and are a bit rare. Most breweries don't even bother with this type of style because it takes longer to brew.
Eisbock beer is well worth it, however. The style is an "ice bock" or ice beer. It's brewed by lagering at 32 degrees colder. This is done during the secondary fermentation process for more time than normal. The reason for this type of brewing is to freeze the water to create ice that will later be removed.
After the ice is removed, a very concentrated bock beer is left. It's a bit like an extract of the beer and the malty flavors are trapped within. Eisbock beers usually have an ABV of 5 to 8%, but some can be as high as 9 to 10%.
How was Eisbok Beer Discovered?
The eisbock beer style was actually a mistake and could have cost the assistant brewer his job at the time. The legend states that a few casks of doppelbock were left outside and ended up with a layer of ice around the beer. The ice was removed to leave a very potent bock beer with great flavor.
After it was discovered, the style became one of the most sought after in Germany. The original eisbock was credited to Kulmbacher Brauerei and it is still brewed in the original fashion today. However, it's only made once a year between August and September. The original Kulmbaker Eisbock is released every year at the Eisbock Beer Festival, held in March.
Top Eisbock Beer Choices
If you're interested in trying an eisbock, the top five choices, according to ratebeer include:
- Schneider Aventinus Weizen-Eisbock - ABV of 12%
- Kulmbacher Eisbock - ABV 9.2%
- Southamton Double Ice Bock - ABV 18%
- Ramstein Eis Storm Eisbock - ABV 11.5%
- Merciless Blood Stains - ABV 20%