The Daily Brews

Dale's Doppelbock

Doppelbock is German for double bock. A bock is a dark, malty lager style originally brewed in the North German town of Einbeck.

When Munich brewers adopted the style, their Bavarian accent sounded Einbeck as Einbock and this eventually became shortened to "Bock".

New Zealanders are not used to the concept of dark lagers although they should be. Some of our most high-volume sweet brown beers like Tui are technically lagers.

Tui itself is an amber lager to be precise and certainly not an India pale ale as it purports to be.

Dale's Brewing, of Nelson, has selected the excellent doppelbock style as part of a refreshingly different lineup that includes an American amber, an English-style ESB and a Belgian pale ale.

Brewer Dale Holland told me that his beer philosophy is simply to brew great beers true to style, that are not readily available in New Zealand.

This provides an admirable point of difference for Dale's Brewing Co.

Dale has an impressive pedigree even though he is quite new to the industry. In 2010, he brewed 15 litres of his Belgian pale ale and entered it in the Soba (Society of Beer Advocates) national homebrew competition. The beer won best beer from over 300 entries.

The prize was to get 1000 litres brewed by Hallertau in Auckland. It's fair to say that Dale has not looked back since.

At 7.5 per cent, this is a beer that should be savoured or shared.

I poured it at cellar temperature so that the rich malts could shine through. The body of the beer is solid and the mouthfeel is complex with complementary layers of sweetness, caramel and bitterness combining perfectly. There was a hint of tartness from the hops and a pleasant yeasty whiff from the traditional lager yeast. This is a hearty and flavoursome beer. It was perfect on a cold and rainy June day and it was well matched to wintry, wholesome food such as crusty wholemeal bread and beef bourguignon.

If you enjoy craft beer or like Taranaki Soba on Facebook, come along to Soba evenings at 5.30pm at The Hour Glass on the first Thursday of every month. The next Soba get-together will be on July 4 and will feature an American ales theme.

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