Editor’s note: This story first appeared in Dirt Rag issue #160, published in November 2011. Words and photo by Lee & Elizabeth Klevens.
We generally have a good supply of beers in our house, many of which are very hoppy. Occasionally, we will entertain guests who do not care much for hoppy beers. Having some Doppelbock (Double Bock) around is always a good thing for such times.
Doppelbocks were originally brewed by Paulaner Monks in Munich to help give them sustenance during times of fasting. Traditional Doppelbocks have a deep caramel color and are complex in flavor. A light beer, they are not. Tons of toasted maltiness fills your mouth, which blends well with caramel and molasses flavors. Generally, the malts aren’t deeply roasted, so you will experience hints of cocoa and even chocolate, but won’t be overpowered by them.
This style of beer is pleasantly sweet and has very little hop presence to it, a welcome change from all of the overly hopped beers out there. While the extra dose of toasted malt add much to the flavor, Doppelbocks are nowhere as hearty as a stout. They are, however, deceivingly drinkable and can sneak up on you. So be warned that most weigh in around 7-8 percent ABV, with some being much higher.
Favorites include: Ayinger Celebrator, Tröegs Troegenator, as well as Spaten Optimator. Celebrator may indeed be the epitome of this style and is very smooth despite being such a rich and flavorful beer. If you can’t find any of the beers mentioned here, keep an eye out for beers ending in an “-ator” at your local watering hole. Remember, don’t be afraid of the dark, but also to be mindful of the goat’s kick.