By Michael Sears
President, Forest City Brewers
The month of May is here, and I’m STILL waiting for some consistent WARM weather! The winter hangover just keeps going, like the day after your bachelor party. This week, I would like to talk about another spring seasonal beer, Maibock, by Capital Brewing.
Maibock is a fairly recent development in comparison to the rest of the Bock family. The Maibock style of beer is lighter in color than the traditional Bock beers, and often has a more pronounced hop character, with an alcohol percentage around the same as traditional Bocks.
Maibocks are customarily served in the spring, and oftentimes are interrelated with spring festivals and celebrations in the month of May.
Capital Brewery of Middleton, Wis., was founded in March 1984 by Wisconsin entrepreneur Ed Janus in a former egg processing plant. The company began production in early 1986, and now produces more than 30,000 barrels of beer annually.
Capital Brewery produces 19 beers, of which eight are year-round, five seasonal and six limited release. The majority are made using the strict Reinheitsgebot guidelines of German purity law, which states that beer can only be made from malted barley, wheat, hops, yeast and water.
The company’s brews have won many individual awards at a number of competitions, including the Great American Beer Festival and The Great Taste of the Midwest, which is my personal favorite festival.
I poured Capital Brewing’s Maibock into a traditional pint glass. A golden color, with a hint of reddish/orange body and a robust white head a full two fingers deep gradually receded, leaving a nice lacing on the glass. A clear see-through body and plenty of carbonation racing to the top of the beer made this aesthetically appealing.
Light amounts of malt-like fresh bread, then a slight sweetness, is what comes out in the smell — but those scents are subdued and not easy to pick up. A second, deeper whiff brings out the very subtle hops.
The first taste is malty, and much like the nose, is subdued but balanced well with a very light, piney hop flavor. I noticed sweetness similar to honey that moves on to a dry finish.
The mouth feel is deceivingly light-bodied, with good carbonation that preps you for the light citrus — and the finish is crisp.
Overall, this beer seems full-bodied, but still delivers a sufficient crispness that keeps it in balance, like a spring wind blowing through the trees. Smooth and easy to drink, making this a very enjoyable Maibock that I could have quite a few of in a sitting.
Michael Sears is president of the Forest City Brewers. The Forest City Brewers is a homebrewing club dedicated to the art of finely crafted beer. The club meets the first Wednesday of each month at Thunder Bay Grille on East State Sreet. For more about Forest City Brewers, go to http://forestcitybrewers.org. If you have comments or recommendations, please contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the May 21-27, 2014, issue