A Friday ago, after strolling in town through some art galleries and the like, a small group of us headed over to Lancaster Brewing Company, for beers and food. LBC is the microbrewery I most frequent and it has a home feel to me. Good beers, decent food, and more affordable than Iron Hill or Spring House’s Tap Room. Plus, it is where good friends of mine like to go. It has a cool space both inside and out….urban chic…but consider yourself lucky if you find a parking space in their lot.
In the spirit of the spring season, I decided to drink the Rumspringa. The LBC website has something goofy going on with their description of the brew. In the picture graphic above, they rightly call it a Bock (Lager). In the written description, it is called an Ale. Unlike light being both a particle and a wave, to call a Bock an Ale is contradictory. Bock’s are by their very definition Lagers….stronger and maltier versions of the mainstream Lager-style. Here is a good article about the Pleasures of Bocks. The only thing I can think of is that maybe LBC used lagering yeast but fermented at room temperature? But, that seems improbable.
For a drinking novice, Bocks and Ales can seem to be the similar. Lagers are brewed for clean and crisp flavors where consistency reigns. Bocks are boisterous and big and are traditionally made for consumption in the Spring where the weather is warming and life is coming back after the winter hiatus. A rowdy beer. I have riffed and ranted before on the Amish-based themes before in LBC’s beers…it just has a cutesy and touristy-vibe kitsch. But, it is what it is. It is how LBC has branded itself like a steer. And the Rumaspringa Golden Bock is no exception. The word Rumspringa refers to an extended Spring Break of sorts for Amish youth to decide if they want to join the Amish community for the long haul. It can go from a time of wholesome fun, sing-a-longs, and volleyball, to plain (or is it “Plain?”) old hell-raising Jakey-style. I have a beef with the Amish lifestyle as a whole because radical separatism is not a biblical doctrine, instead the biblical more is more of an “in but not of” type of thing. But, that is a rant for another day.
The Rumspringa beer is fine…..good but not great. The word “good” describes LBC to me. Good, but not great, beers. Friendly, comfortable, and a place that won’t break the bank. Sometimes good is good enough.