September 12, 2017
All German beer is amazing, but we think one is truly wünderbar.
Bock Bier originated in Eisenbeck, a small city in what is now Lower Saxony, Germany.
A bock is full bodied and slightly sweet with loads of malt character and little if any hops. Bock beers age well – some last for decades. The hallmark of these beers is an alcohol content that ranges from 6.5% to over 10%.
The oldest record of beer from Einbeck is a receipt for two casks of Einbecker sold in 1378. The brewing equipment was owned by the city of Einbeck and the brew master was a civil servant. Citizens malted their own grains and the brew master visited the home with his brew kettle and oversaw the process. This ensured that all beer brewed in Einbeck followed the same recipe and met the same quality standards.
Bock beers grew in popularity throughout Europe and Einbecker became known as Ainpockisch Pier, which then morphed into Oanpock and then became simply known as Bock Bier. Munich was importing so much Oanpock that in 1617 a brewer from Einbeck was hired to brew a Bavarian version.
Many regional variations of these bottom fermented lagers exist. Some top fermented ales also fall into the category, such as weizenbock. Classic takes on this brew from the middle ages show golden or amber hues but some can be a reddish or even black colour.
Bock beers became very popular in Lent periods as “liquid bread” to provide sustenance during the fasting. Contrary to popular belief, the bock beers labelled for Christmas and Easter were not produced to celebrate the holidays but rather for preceding them. The spring lent led to the creation of an even stronger brew: the Doppelbock. Some breweries began to produce a Maibock in May.
Einbecker Brauhaus is the only surviving brewery from the town. You can tell you are getting the “original” beer when “Ur” appears before the name. Ur-Bock indicates that this beer is the original from Einbeck.
Germany is of course famous for Oktoberfest. The first Oktoberfest in 1810 celebrated the King’s son’s marriage with rich and deep dunkels and luscious bocks being served. The style of Oktoberfest beer has evolved over time. In 1872 after running out of beer in the Spaten tent – a Vienna style lager reminiscent of Bocks was brought in out of desperation and likely packed a mean 8% punch. The first half of the 20th century saw the alcohol content drop and Oktoberfest brews were “Marzenbiers” brewed in March before the summer ban on brewing.
Since 1990, Oktoberfest has been serving lagers that are a little more fresh with a rich texture and deep complexity in a refreshing and crisp style to please the modern palate. They are golden, lightly sweet and malty – with a medium body and low hop bitterness.
• Only the 5 large breweries inside Munich supply Oktoberfest: Munchen, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbrau, Lowenbrau, Paulaner and Spaten-Franziskaner-Brau.
• Each brewery operates a tent where the celebration is held. Tents hold up to 10,000 patrons.
• The mayor taps the first keg at noon on the first day of Oktoberfest and pronounces “O’zapft is!” (It is tapped!)
OKTOBERFEST PHRASES TO KNOW:
Noch ein Bier, bitte [nokh eyn beer bee-teh]: Another beer, please.
Die nächste Runde zahlen Sie [dee nekh-steh roon-deh tsah-lehn see]: Next round is on him/her!
Halt deine Lederhosen fest [hahlt dey-neh leh-dehr-hoh sehn fest] Hold onto your Lederhosen!
Masskrug: 1 L beer stein
There is nothing quite like the perfect cocktail to set the mood for the holidays.
There’s something about the holidays that lets us all feel like we can indulge.
Everyone’s in search of the perfect cold, crushable summer patio beer. This year, you’ll find it only at Co-op Wine Spirits Beer!
Anyone who’s ever tried to name someone or something knows the decision can be fraught with challenges.
Canmore's Grizzly Paw Brewing Company is one of the original breweries in the Alberta Rockies.
Plenty of people make home brewed beer, but how many build and engineer their own brewing equipment to get it just right, or solder their...
Normally at this time of year, we’d all be shaking out our western duds and getting ready for that great annual outdoor show where we...
Throwing a western-style BBQ to make up for the cancellation of the greatest outdoor show in Calgary? You need just the right cold drinks to...
Spring is a time for rebirth, regeneration and of course for kicking back and enjoying the outdoors.
What would make someone give up a reliable career, steady paycheck, and predictable routine, for a mountain of hard work, years of planning, and some...
Sampler or mixed packs are a great way to try different beer, without the commitment of buying a full case.
Many of us are wondering if our favourite places like restaurants and cafes will still be around once the COVID-19 pandemic finally releases its grip...
Wild Rose Brewery is a Calgary institution, established in 1996 and occupying space in an old Air Force hangar on the site of the former...
The Irish know how to celebrate! While Canadians do pour a few drinks on Canada Day, our national occasion pales in comparison to the worldwide...
It was back in 2002 that Mill Street Brewery opened in Toronto’s historic Distillery District, an aging but rebounding neighbourhood that used to house all...
It’s hard to please everyone, but when it comes to beer, it doesn’t have to be difficult.
If you or anyone in your family is a die-hard football fan, you’re likely already planning for the biggest game of the year.
Light beer has a bad reputation. For many years it was known as a watery, largely tasteless pseudo-beverage, for those worried about their weight.
We’ve probably all heard of fondue, but how many of us have actually tried to make it, or even wondered where it came from? The...
Let’s admit it—for many of us, one of the exciting things about the holidays is the opportunity to share fun and festive drinks with friends.
As you’re working away at your holiday shopping list, there’s always a few folks who are hard to buy for.
There is something so festive and satisfying about enjoying cheese and wine at parties.
If you’re tasked with making a dish for a holiday potluck, you might be wondering if you should bring the same old tired spinach dip.
Are you the planner in your family or at the office? If you’re just not up for being the host or the organizer again this...
The holidays are just around the corner and in today’s globetrotting society, so many of us live far away from our families and friends.
If you’re the type of person who throws awesome holiday parties you’ll want to make sure your supplies are in order.
Looking for a little something different? Want a beverage that feels a little festive this holiday season? Fallentimber Meadery has some extra special offerings that...
Harvest is that time of year when we reap the rewards of what we’ve sown over the past season.
It’s one of the flavours of fall: fresh-off-the-vine, sun-ripened pumpkin, baked into pies, stirred into soups, added to lattes and yes, even brewed into beer.
Many of us enjoy a cold beer now and again. But if pressed, do you think you could name a handful of beers in a...
Canmore's Grizzly Paw Brewing Company is one of the original breweries that sprung up in the heart of Alberta.
Everyone assumes the bright lights and allure of Hollywood would be a major draw and an enticing career.
It’s not unusual for home brewing to become a gateway into owning and operating a brewery.
What's a dandy, exactly? If you looked it up in the dictionary, you'd see this:
A caravel is a sailing ship common in the 15th to 17th centuries in Europe.
You know you’re in for something different when the conversation turns from beer to something called a ‘reverse mullet’.
If you were in Calgary in 1988, you’ll no doubt remember the spirit of the Olympics and how it brought the city together.
It’s the image many Canadians have when it comes to imagining the Rockies; tall, snow-capped peaks, lush, steep-sided valleys, and icy streams trickling the freshest...
When your day to day job involves working in one of the world’s most dangerous countries, dodging bullets and insurgents while riding around in armoured...
A beer label is a lot like a book cover; you can’t prejudge what’s inside, but a great front can definitely entice you to pick...
There's probably many a beer lover that has dreamed of having their own brewery.
Some folks make Sunday dinner. For Adam Nachbaur, his weekend tradition has been making Sunday beer.
It’s kind of hard to imagine today, with a computer in every pocket, but back when Canada was still a baby, the railroad was Canada’s lifeline.
When Uncommon Cider set out to make an Alberta-centric cider they knew they wanted to be unique, and keep their focus on western Canadian ingredients.
The TV is tuned, the snacks are set out and those Superbowl commercials are just about to hit their stride.
Calgary’s economy has created some unique challenges over the last few years.
There are dedicated craft beer types who speak in hops, and judge their beer in IBUs.
On the side of a brewery, you fully expect to see the word ‘brewers’, but entering Calgary’s Legend 7 Brewing, you can tell it’s going...
Sometimes there's too much choice. If you're popping into Co-op Wine Spirits Beer on your way home, maybe it happens that you want to try...
They may be best known for their 11 brewpub restaurants across Alberta, but Brewsters is also a longstanding brewery, turning out numerous local craft beers.
It’s cup season and what goes better with football, than beer? If you’re gathering friends for the game, why not take advantage of the power...
It may seem odd for a family to take on a business where the workers could kill you.
Since we skipped fall and went straight to winter, nesting has become a priority for many of us.
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to get together with family and friends, and while there’s always lots of catching up to do, once that’s over,...
It's no secret Calgary's craft brewing scene is growing. New breweries and distilleries are opening all the time, and in the quest for better beer,...
When you come across a beer called Hijacked IPA, you might assume it gets its name from market research, or the future ability to craft...
The Calgary Stampede is many things; officially it's a chance to take in the rodeo and celebrate community spirit through shows, rides, events, and pancake breakfasts.
You don't have to remember Bob and Doug Mackenzie to know that beer is Canada's drink.
Mark MacDonald was working as a mechanical engineer in Alberta's oil patch when he and his brother rather randomly decided to get each other home...
In a nondescript industrial area in southwest Calgary is a brewery you could call experimental.
Hot summer days beg for the cooling refreshment of an ice cold beer.
There are beers, and then there are summer beers. You know them; a bit lighter, crisper, cooler and more refreshing than average.
Now that the mercury seems like it’s finally climbed over the freezing mark for the season (famous last words) it’s time to start thinking about...
Baseball season is officially underway, having just transitioned from spring training to the regular season.
For many Canadians, St Patrick’s Day is an excuse to wear green, while kids cut shamrocks from paper and fashion cardboard leprechaun hats.
Co-op Wine Spirits Beer is more than just a store. It’s an experience. Shop here and you’ll get education, assistance, and great customer service.
It's the sporting event that outdoes all other sporting events — with the possible exception of the World Cup of soccer, some might say.
It's resolution time! And if yours is to make smarter choices and maybe cut back on some vices, we've got some ideas when it comes...
The food is picked out, your place is all set up, you even have a sweet playlist ready.
‘Tis the season of seasonal beer! Traditionally, winter brings with it darker, more bitter, and a bit sweeter beers, similar to the rich foods we...
What does a gift card, a rare bottle of scotch, and a taster pack of beer all have in common? They all make great gifts,...
Handling all the drinks for your holiday party can be daunting.
It’s a local brewery that has brought international attention to Alberta’s craft beer market.
Blindman Brewing was born out of a shared vision to brew the best beer in Alberta, while at the same time, introducing local beer drinkers...
Serendipity. That’s how Village Brewery’s co-founder, Jim Button describes how the local craft brewery came to be.
Hard apple ciders aren’t just for the British anymore, they’re steadily gaining popularity right here in Canada.
Oktoberfest or the “Volksfest” is a beer festival that dates back to 1810 and starts around mid-September through the first weekend in October and draws...
It’s been about a year since Half Hitch Brewing Company sold its very first batch of beer.
We all know that certain types of wine complement certain types of food – but what about beer?
This week, Canadians will celebrate the 150th anniversary of our dominion formation, when the country established its confederation in 1867.
It's known as Canada's left coast and if you've spent any time out there you'll know B.C. has a whole different vibe.
Canadians will be celebrating our great nation’s sesquicentennial as we mark 150 years of Confederation.
We’ve got the rolling prairies, the towering Rockies and a reputation for being the friendliest province in the country.
150 years ago Canada had about 150 breweries, which meant Canada’s 3.5 million people had lots of options to celebrate the birth of our nation.
When we think of the Prairies, we think rolling hills, miles upon miles of wheat, soybeans or corn blowing in the wind and a horizon...
It’s a story of determination, camaraderie, and a serious love of brewing beer.
For some, it's the de facto centre of the universe for Canada, but others cast a more wary eye on Ontario, which can often be...
It's fair to say that the craft beer industry in North America has exploded over the past decade.
Canadians have a great reputation both at home and abroad, as a peaceful nation, with a polite population (“sorry” for everything), hockey crazy, and beer loving.
Quebec plays a starring role in Canada’s history (some of Canada’s earliest settlements were Quebec City in 1608, and Montreal in 1642).
Some of the most famous 'Canadian' foods have their origins in La Belle Province.
In 1867, Canada became a country with four provinces; New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec.
When the world’s largest ice cubes float past your door each day, you might have a different outlook on life, and cocktails.
There is a long-standing tradition on Canada's East Coast. When there's a celebration to be had, Maritimers throw a kitchen party or ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee).
On July 1st Canada marks the 150th Anniversary of Confederation, where the British Colonies, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia joined in one Dominion.
There’s no denying that craft beer has exploded in popularity over the past five years.
Did you know that brewing beer was at one time a woman’s job, not a mans? In fact, in ancient Egypt beer was traditionally brewed...
It's time to break out the bubbly at Co-op. Mike Roberts, Co-op's Sommelier Manager was the overall winner at the city's annual Iron Sommelier Competition,...
Gluten free has typically meant that beer was no longer an option.
Confused about all the different types of beer? This is an easy guide to a couple of the common types.
Learn a little bit more about how to cook and pair different foods with beer.