Weizenbock beer was introduced by the first family of wheat beers in 1907. Contrary to the bottom fermenting German lager, Bock, a Weizenbock is the top fermenting wheat ale version that combines characteristics of a Hefeweizen and a Doppelbock. Essentially, it is a winter wheat beer originally brewed in Bavaria, Germany.
To break down the Weizenbock recipe a bit, a Weizenbock beer must contain at least 50% wheat, though most have between 60% and 70% wheat. This strong ale is brewed with either top fermenting wiess yeast, which gives the beer notes of spice and dark fruits, such as cloves and plum, or weizen ale yeast, which adds banana like esters and clove like phenols to the brew. Malt mellanoidins deliver the rich, bready malt character perceived in the brew. As a whole the brew has low hop bitterness and no perceivable hop aroma, despite the incorporation of German noble hops.
Most Weizenbock beers range from pale to dark in color and have an ABV that ranges from 7-9.5%. A Weizenbock tulip is the best serving glass, although some also use snifters as a Weizenbock glass. The best Weizenbock beers are highly carbonated with a significant, rocky head.
A few styles of Weizenbock exist, including Dunkler Weizenbock and Doppel Weizenbock. The Dunkler Weizenbock style was first brewed by Brauerei Michael Plank, and is a darker Weizenbock that is distinctive, full-bodied, round, and sweet, with aromatic, malty character. Fun fact, the Dunkler Weizenbock won a gold medal in the 2004 World Beer Cup! The Doppel Weizenbock is a style that has been released by a few breweries including Upstream Brewing Company and Big Dog's Brewing Company. These are often even stronger Weizenbock's, sometimes double the strength of a classic Weizenbock.
A Weizenbock can be made as a lighter pale gold ale, or a dark maltier brown ale. Of course the food you pair with a Weizenbock depends on whether the beer is lighter or darker. Lighter Weizenbock tends to pairs well with light meats like chicken and seafood, while a darker Weizenbock fits better with gamey meats like venison, wild boar, and lamb. For a fun food pairing, try Banana bread, which is sure to bring out the banana-like esters from the weizen ale yeast.
American brewers have embraced the German Weizenbock style and created hundreds of their own available in many brewpubs and microbreweries. The style they use is usually designed to flatter the German versions with slight Americanization.
We're excited to share this great brew variety with our Craft Beer Club members!