Style Details

Hel­les Bock
Pale Mal­ty Euro­pean Lager
BJCP Style Code
4 C
Deep gold to light amber in color. Bright to clear cla­ri­ty. Lar­ge, cre­a­my, per­sis­tent, white head.
Mode­ra­te to strong grai­ny-sweet malt aro­ma, often with a light­ly toas­ted qua­li­ty and low Mail­lard pro­ducts. Modera­te­ly-low to no hop aro­ma, often with a spi­cy, her­bal, or flo­ral qua­li­ty. Clean fer­men­ta­ti­on pro­fi­le. Frui­ty esters should be low to none. Very light alco­hol may be noti­ceable. May have a light DMS aroma.
Modera­te­ly to modera­te­ly strong grai­ny-sweet malt fla­vor domi­na­tes with some toasty notes and/or Mail­lard pro­ducts pro­vi­ding added inte­rest. Litt­le to no cara­mel fla­vors. May have a light DMS fla­vor. Mode­ra­te to no hop fla­vor (spi­cy, her­bal, flo­ral, pep­pery). Mode­ra­te hop bit­ter­ness (more so in the balan­ce than in other bocks). Clean fer­men­ta­ti­on pro­fi­le. Well-atte­nu­a­ted, not cloy­ing, with a modera­te­ly-dry finish that may tas­te of both malt and hops.
Medi­um-bodi­ed. Mode­ra­te to modera­te­ly-high car­bo­na­ti­on. Smooth and clean with no harsh­ness or astrin­gen­cy, despi­te the increased hop bit­ter­ness. A light alco­hol warm­ing may be present.
Over­all Impression
A rela­tively pale, strong, mal­ty Ger­man lager beer with a nice­ly atte­nu­a­ted finish that enhan­ces drin­ka­bi­li­ty. The hop cha­rac­ter is gene­ral­ly more appa­rent than in other bocks.
Typi­cal Ingredients
Base of Pils and/or Vien­na malt with some Munich malt to add cha­rac­ter (alt­hough much less than in a tra­di­tio­nal bock). No non-malt adjuncts. Saa­zer-type hops. Clean lager yeast. Decoc­tion mash is typi­cal, but boi­ling is less than in Dunk­les Bock to res­train color development.
A fair­ly recent deve­lo­p­ment in com­pa­ri­son to the other mem­bers of the bock fami­ly. The ser­ving of Mai­bock is spe­ci­fi­cal­ly asso­cia­ted with spring­time and the month of May.
Also known as Mai Bock, but the­re is some dis­pu­te whe­ther Hel­les (“pale”) Bock and Mai (“May”) Bock are syn­ony­mous. Most agree that they are iden­ti­cal, but some belie­ve that Mai­bock is a “fest” type beer hit­ting the upper limits of hop­ping and color for the ran­ge. Any frui­tin­ess is due to Munich and other spe­cial­ty malts, not yeast-deri­ved esters deve­lo­ped during fer­men­ta­ti­on. The hops com­pen­sa­te for the lower level of Mail­lard products.
Com­mer­cial Examples
Alten­müns­ter Mai­bock, Ayin­ger Mai­bock, Capi­tal Mai­bock, Blind Tiger Mai­bock, Ein­be­cker Mai-Urbock, Hacker-Pschorr Huber­tus Bock, Mahr’s Bock
Ori­gi­nal Gravity
1.064 - 1.072 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
1.011 - 1.018 SG
6 - 11 SRM
6.0 - 7.0 %vol
23 - 35 IBU