Searching for the line between "hobby" and "obsession"

Maibock throwdown!

Happy Mai… er… “May!” Very soon it will be May and you know what that means? Maibock.

I brewed a maibock (Maibark) this past January and  lagered it in my garage over the remainder of Minnesota’s short winter this past season. When cracking the first bottle, I thought it bold yet appropriate to buy a few locally brewed commercial examples of the style and take them head to head against my own. I have high hopes for this brew.

  1. Shell’s Maifest – the most malty of the three, sort of a noble hop skunkiness about it that wasn’t so pleasant as it warmed up
  2. Summit Maibock – thinnest and sharpest of the three in regard to both carbonation and hop profile
  3. Barking Dog Maibark – middle of the road maltiness, some pepper notes and a tad sweet in the finish which will probably dissipate more over time as it was only bottled four weeks ago at the point I opened this one (4/13)29

Tasting these blind, my wife had Summit as her top choice because of the higher carbonation level and lighter nature of their version. I, of course, knew which one was mine and liked mine the best. 🙂 She was able to pick mine out of the lineup. I believe this is due to the fact that mine is bottle-conditioned. Carbonation always comes out softer with bottle conditioning. That’s not always a bad thing, but I can see how lagers could be better with more defined carbonation.

I’m very happy with the color! Dead on, and even though it’s crystal clear as low as 50*, more clarity will come in time.


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