There is some interesting history on Bocks. I have definitely moved in more of an Ale direction (forgive me, my German ancestors). Ales just are more open-ended and require less stringent brewing guidelines and processes.
Generally, Ales also have higher ABV’s and have more complex taste profiles. Lagers are consistent…and often that reduces flavor and creativity. It is almost brewing pedagogy. High quality Lagers are worth admiration, if for nothing else but the technical and engineering excellence.
Apparently, monks drank Bocks during Lent. Don’t quite get how that is ascetic.
From what I have read, Bocks came out of an Ale tradition, but then were Lagered (assuming you know what Lagering means). If you want to more of the technicalities of brewing a Bock, click this here.
I am basically on two tracks with beer today. I am buying Yuengling (either Lager or some other Yuengling variety) as my everyday go to beer when I am in the mood for more than one. Or, when I have company, like my Dad, who is not particular about what he drinks. His go to beer is Red Dog which I call Dead Dog. I mean why waste the Belgian? Something about Yuengling…if you start with it, keep with it. Don’t switch in the same sitting to a microbrew. You will definitely notice the quality difference. Dance with the one who brought you type of thing.
Then, on special occasions, I break out the Homebrewed Belgians. These are to be savored with knowing friends like a fine wine and one should not drink more than two at a sitting. They are just too strong. I am actually pretty much cutting out the microbrews for home consumption. Paying on upwards of $ 40 for a case is just ridiculous. Craft breweries and Distributors need to be careful to keep pricing within range of the Buds and the Millers. Once the price point goes beyond and extra 10-12 dollars, many consumers will go for the big brews.
I can homebrew a better than store-bought Craft beer for under $ 20 a case. It is generally tastier than almost any Craft beer out there. Plus, it is interesting and only takes two half-Saturdays (one half-day for brewing, one half-day for bottling). I will drink Craft beers when I am out on the town. These days it just pays to be mindful of money.
I might do a Bock next Spring. Heck, my ancestors will applaud and I might be able to move my dad up a notch or two on his beer tastes.