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Dunkler Bock

A style from medieval times

„Der beste Trank, den einer kennt, wird Ainpöckisch Bier genennt”.

This word is attributed to Martin Luther. in 1525, the city of Wittenberg gave him several barrels of Einbeck strong beer for his wedding with Katharina von Bora.

The brewing industry changed with urbanization in the Middle Ages. No longer exclusively a household matter, commercial brewing became more and more popular. At first that happened mainly in regions where no viticulture could be practiced. In Europe, these included the British Isles, northern France, Flanders and large parts of northern Germany.

Einbeck received its town charter in 1279 and became the regional hub for beer brewed with hops. Beer from Einbeck was exported by the middle of the fourteenth century at the latest. With the city’s entry  into the Hanseatic League in 1368, there was a significant increase in both, production and trade of Einbeck beer.  It became a fashionable drink of the late Middle Ages.

In the 14th century around 700 middle-class families were granted the right to brew beer without any quantity restrictions. Production was decentralised; sales and marketing were organised by the town council. Above all, there was already a municipal quality control at that time, on which the good reputation of the beer, called “Ainpökisch”,  is probably based. The “Ainpöckisch” was exported to Antwerp, Riga, Stockholm, Reval and Munich.

In 1612 Maximilian brought the Einbeck master brewer Elias Pichler to the Hofbräuhaus. He was supposed to brew Ainpöck beer for the Munich brewers – which the Bavarian dialect soon turned into “A Bock”. To this day the catchy style name still stands for certain strong beers.

Today Dunkler Bock reminds us of its ancestors. Beers used to be generally much darker, even those in the lower weight categories.

In contrast to Germany, where Dunkler Bock cavourt in large numbers, they were almost extinct in Austia. Reason enough for Hannes Leitner, master brewer in the brewery, called Freistädter Braucommune, to produce the first “Black Bock” in 2014. The black animal immediately won a European Beer Star in gold.

German-Style Dunkler Bock belongs to the first categories of the European Beer Star. It is dominated by German breweries. With the exception of the year 2017. At that time a Brazilian beer, the Baden Baden Bock, won, ahead of a Spanish, 1906 Black Coupage and a Dutch, Hertog Jan Bockbier.

From 2004 to 2018, twenty Beer Stars in this category went to Germany, 4 to Holland, 3 to Brazil, 2 each to Namibia and Austria and one each to Italy and Spain in this category. In 2019 Black Coupage from Hijos de Rivera wins the European Beer Star in gold in 1906. Silver goes to Lindeboom Herfstbock from Holland.