BOCK BEER – AN ANCIENT BAVARIAN TRADITION
The brewing of bock beers is a Bavarian tradition going back hundreds of years. This type of beer was invented by the monks of the Paulaner monastery in Munich, whose brewing activity is documented as far back as 1634. Starting in 1651, they brewed a particularly nutritional and smooth ‘liquid bread’ as preparation for the strict Lenten period. This beer was named ‘Sankt Vater’ in honour of the founder, and ‘Salvator’ in colloquial usage; this latter name is to this day inextricably linked to the Bavarian bock beer festivals. Not long after the Paulaner monks, other breweries also started brewing a ‘Salvator’ beer, at which point the monks trademarked the name. The Bavarian breweries, however, now showed true creativity and have since been marketing their bock beer under new names, such as, for example, ‘Maximator’, the bock beer made by the Augustiner brewery, and ‘Celebrator’, for the bock beer made by the Ayinger brewery.
Bock beer festivals have now become legendary, and well-known far beyond the borders of Bavaria. Special status is enjoyed by the ‘Nockherberg Spektakel’ of the Paulaner brewery. In previous times, the first stein of beer at the festival was served to the prince-elector; nowadays the honour falls to the premier of Bavaria. Before this happens, however, he must endure the so-called ‘Derbleck‘n’, which means ‘to make fun of someone’ in the Bavarian dialect. This comes from the time when it was the custom of the pub landlord to personally greet their regular customers with vulgar expressions, and the ‘victims’ had to bear this with humour, as an insulted reaction would only lead to more fun being made of them. Landlords who were less skilled in this employed so-called ‘Gstanzlsingers’ who would carry out this activity for them. Nowadays, professional speakers and actors make fun of prominent politicians at the well-known Nockherberg singspiel.
Numerous Bavarian breweries now brew their own bock beer, including the Ayinger brewery with its ‘Celebrator’, a dark double bock with 6.7 % ABV and 18.5 degrees gravity. This full-flavoured beer has been repeatedly classed by the Chicago Testing Institute amongst the best beers in the world and won numerous awards.
This excellent beer can be enjoyed during the bock beer season at the Ayinger’s Inn, where you can also sample other types of beers made at the Ayinger brewery, as well as regional cuisine. The various delicacies they offer are prepared fresh and creatively, and served to you in the heart of the Munich old town. ‘Celebrator’ and other beers of the Ayinger brewery are also available at Restaurant Pfistermühle and the Platzl Bar.