Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Cleveland, OH

Style: Bock
ABV: 7.8%
GLBC is one of the veteran breweries in the Midwest, located in a great Cleveland neighborhood—don’t laugh!—next to a fantastic urban market, where yours truly has been known to park at the raw bar for an hour or two when in town.
I snagged a sixer of their spring seasonal, Dopplerock, named in homage to the Rock ’n’ Roll tourist attractions. This traditional, German spring time lager is perfectly in season for Starkbierzeit, which is one of my favorite times to visit Bavaria. The crowds are minimal and the weather is spotty, but spring is in the air and the bock biers are amazing and plentiful.
Brewed according to the Reihenheitsgebot, this pours a deep reddish brown capped with a nice, silky mocha head. The nose is sweet and sugary, foretelling the firm caramelized nose and full caramalt sweetness. The finish is clean and lingering, with an ongoing breadiness. There’s a slight alcohol burn, despite the rich, malty body, to remind you this is a bock, but still relatively balanced. It’s as good as most I’ve had in the Vaterland, and a helluvalot fresher than any thing off the import boat.
Do yourself a favor and see Bavaria in March … or, for the second best thing, get your hands on a sixer of this stuff.