I knew my husband wouldn't approve. I was at our local beer distributor and I was supposed to be buying pilsner for him, but when I spied a new bright yellow box in the corner with a whimsical graphic, I knew I couldn't resist. I saw the Troeg's logo, but I had never seen that design before. What was it?
It turned out to be Troeg's Cultivator Helles Bock beer. It's been a while since I've seen the strong, malty concoction known as Bock at the beer distributor.
There are differing largely unconfirmed myths about how Bock beer began. One story attributes it to monks in Europe who brewed a more hearty and filling beer while fasting in lent. Another myth associates Bock with pagans, who brewed bock style beer during the sign of the goat, or Capricorn, which meant it was ready in the spring.
In Munich Germany, the name of the beer "Einbeck" was pronounced in local dialect so it sounded like "Ein Bock" which is the German word for billy goat. The goat has remained
Maibock and Helles Bock are similar, being a paler style, and they are usually a little less malty and hoppy than the other styles.
Helles means "bright" or "light" in German. The Troeg's Cultivator Helles Bock is described on the website as having "hints of toasted grains, fresh baked bread and delicate floral hops." It will only be available February through April. It packs a packs a powerful punch at 6.9% alcohol and described as pairing nicely with asiago, gruyere or swiss cheese and compliments spicy dishes such as Thai food, Korean barbecue, shellfish or fried foods.