I picked this beer up on a whim while perusing the shelves the other day at Gomer’s in Midtown. Maibock is a lager that is associated with springtime and the month of May (hence the name). Maibock is more or less synonymous with the Helles bock (light bock) style, which tend to be drier and slightly hoppier than the traditional bock beers.
Free State’s version of this beer is named after John Brinkley, a controversial American medical doctor who experimented with the transplantation of glands from goats into humans as the cure for impotence. This is a play on the traditional association of bock beers with goat imagery.
The bock style originated in the German city of Einbeck. Munich brewers’ Bavarian accents tended to pronounce Einbeck as “ein bock” (a billygoat), and hence the association of bock beers with goat pun names or imagery on labels.
Maibocks are traditionally somewhat drier and hoppier versions of the traditional bock beer. Brinkley’s Maibock pours a clear tea color with a persistent white head. A bready malt aroma predominates, with a slight noble hop aroma.
The flavor is clean and malty but has good balance from the noble hops. There is a slight almost metallic aftertaste that is consistent with noble-hopped beers. Unfortunately, there is no information on Free State’s website about this beer, which I found interesting.
There is a slight fruitiness in the early part of the sip with a decent amount of hop bitterness up front, too.
Overall this is a balanced, easy drinker with enough hops to be refreshing and counter the typically very bready character of bock beers. This is a great springtime beer, especially with the temperatures in the 80′s like we’ve been having!