Here in the depths of winter it's always nice to have a stronger beer to help get you through the chilly nights. Doppelbocks are a good choice for me. These beers date back to the 17th century when the Paulaner monks in Munich brewed a "double bock" to sustain them through Lent. Mind you, in these days of double/trippel/quad/imperial madness, one might think that doppelbocks traditionally were gigantic beers but they were only slightly higher in alcohol than normal bocks, landing the realm of 7% A.B.V. The monks had their monastic duties to attend to, after all, and the abbot wouldn't take too kindly to his sheep showing up at vespers all shitfaced. Still, it's not unheard of for some varieties to hit double digit A.B.V. The Paulaner monks eventually named their liquid bread "Salvator" and the practice of adding –ator to the names of doppelbocks caught on.
The folks at Metropolitan Brewing
in Chicago released their take on the style, Generator, back in December, if memory serves. I am unsure if this marks the brewery's first doppelbock but I do believe that it is the first time they've bottled one. I am also fairly certain that Generator is their first winter seasonal to be bottled. At 8.2%, it's perhaps a bit more boozy than tradition dictates but it will certainly keep you warm and provide enough sustenance until Metro's spring seasonal, Iron Works Alt
, is released.
Considering the vast quantities of malt that go into this style, it should be no surprise that Generator pours a deep, dark sepia. And even my lousy photo reveals that it's clear. I got a nice tan, pillowy head which lasted a goodly while which I found surprising since I thought that alcohol tended to 86 foam. My glass was left with a modicum of Schaumhaftvermoegen
. Doppelbocks are about the malt and Generator smells nice'n'sweet. I detected honey and stonefruit along with some black licorice and even a hint of grassiness from the hops.
Generator is sweet on the tongue as well - I caught toffee flavor as well as bread – but it's also clean. All of those fruity flavors were lagered away. It is a smooth beer and, considering all of the malt that went into it, it had a much lighter body than I thought it would have. Indeed, this stuff goes down easily – perhaps a bit too easily. Also surprising was the hop presence which is stronger than in most doppelbocks I've had. Here the spicy hop flavor is fairly intense veering near to black pepper and while it doesn't outdo the malt it does a yeoman's job in trying.
This is a very fine doppelbock. It tweaks the liquid bread formula a little bit with some extra hops but doesn't stray too far from the tried and true doppelbock legacy. It is also deceptively drinkable with a lighter body that means it'll go down easily for a while before the alcohol catches up with you.
Junk food pairing: A big beer like Generator demands spicy pork rinds.
Labels: Beer, Doppelbock, Metropolitan Brewing