Bartenders Tell Us The Best Bock Beers To Drink This Spring

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In German, “bock” means goat. As a beer style, it’s commonly enjoyed in the spring (with historical associations with Easter and Lent festivities in Germany). The term is generally used to describe a strong lager, but the umbrella of bock also contains maibock, doppelbock, and eisbock (each beer style gets progressively stronger). Today, we enjoy bock style beers from February well into the summer.

Bock is a heartier, stronger beer that fits perfectly in the time of year when the calendar says “spring,” but the weather doesn’t quite seem to be on the same page. For much of the country, its a gloomy, rainy time of year and the robust nature of a bock beer suits it nicely. But bock beers are so tasty that we won’t stop drinking them once the weather finally changes and neither will bartenders. That’s why we asked some of our favorite bartenders to tell us their go-to bock beers to sip on all spring long.

Genesee Bock

Alli Torres, Bartender at Refinery Rooftop in New York City

“I have to go with something near and dear to my New York heart, Genesee Bock. It rings in the low 5.2% ABV, but still maintains a hearty body. A slightly malty finish out of an iced cold can? Spring has sprung with this Genny gem.”

St. Arnold’s Spring Bock

Crystal Pavlas, head bartender at Bywater American Bistro in New Orleans

“St. Arnold’s Spring bock. Although it’s higher in alcohol content, the beer itself is very drinkable. It’s malty with hints of sweetness. Then it finishes with a bit of German hops to round it out.”

Rogue Dead Guy

Nahm Kim, beverage director at Sunda in Chicago

“Maibock beers are often associated with the inauguration of spring, and I’m going to go here with a classic, Dead Guy Ale from Rogue Ales. Bready and medium bodied, but very easily drinkable, with notes of toffee and stone fruits.”

Shiner Bock

Gavin Koehn bar manager at Otoño in Los Angeles

“Shiner Bock baby! Texas has an incredible cocktail scene and when you need a break from all the house-made tinctures in San Antonio and Houston it’s time to crack a Shiner.”

Abita Mardi Gras Bock

Maggie Dandrea, bartender at Hot Tin in New Orleans

“Bock is a German word meaning goat or goat-like man, and Bock beers are known to bring forth ‘the kick of a goat.’ With their higher ABV, malty sweetness, and general associations with celebrations, I suggest trying Abita Brewing’s Mardi Gras Bock this spring. It has a nice balance between the initial caramel malt flavors, bright carbonation and mild hops without coming across as cloying. And what better representation for a party beer than Mardi Gras.”

Little Harpeth Bison Bock

Sally Gatza, head bartender at L.A. Jackson Bar in Nashville

“What’s my favorite bock beer to drink in the spring and why? Bison Bock from Little Harpeth in Nashville. It has depth but it’s still crushable and finishes clean and dry.”

Paulaner Salvator Doppel Bock

Cesar Mejias, bartender at Tacology in Miami

“It would have to be the Bavarian Paulaner Salvator Doppel Bock. Easy to drink but still holds an intense dark chocolate aroma and malty silkiness flavor.”

Troegs Cultivator

Evan Danielson, beverage director at City Winery in Nashville

“My favorite bock beer comes from bock sub style, maibock or helles bock. My favorite would have to be Troegs Cultivator, an ample and beautiful example of the style.”

Weihenstephaner Vitus

Nina Scalera, bartender at Moxy Times Square in New York City

“What’s my favorite bock beer to drink in the spring? I enjoy Weihenstephaner Vitus, it’s refreshing and reminds me of a wheat beer, without being too heavy.”

Ayinger Celebrator

Alex Schmaling, head bartender of Beacon Tavern in Chicago

“Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock. Maybe such a dark style isn’t strictly spring-appropriate, but I love it far too much to let a little thing like the weather keep me away. Its massive roast profile and deep color might give the impression that you’ll be chewing on this brew, but at 6.7% ABV it’s no more alcoholic than the IPAs on the next shelf over.”

Michelob AmberBock

Benjamin Rouse, bar lead at Henley in Nashville

“My go-to bock beer for spring? Michelob AmberBock. I love the malty sweetness of this beer especially with a squeeze of lime. It’s great for those warm spring days and cool nights.”