JUNEAU, Ala. – The latest Pilot Series from Alaskan Brewing Co., Imperial Bock, draws inspiration from an old-world beer style. Alaskan Imperial Bock is brewed in the style of an Eisbock, an amped up version of a German doppelbock first brewed by fourteenth century Bavarian monks during cold winter months, but the brewery’s version strays from tradition.
Like most winter warmers, Eisbocks are rich in flavor with a pronounced malt sweetness and a warm alcoholic finish. They are traditionally produced by freezing a doppelbock and removing the ice crystals to intensify flavor and strength. “Alaskan Imperial Bock is based off Eisbock, but instead of freezing it, we brewed a higher gravity beer to achieve a higher strength,” said Alaskan Brewing Head Brewer, Rob Day. “We then rest it on vanilla oak chips to help smooth the character that you typically get from a high-alcohol bock,” explained Day. “The result is a sweet, malty beer that doesn’t taste heavy.”
Imperial Bock is rich, robust, and full-bodied with cherry notes, toasty overtones, a mellow vanilla sweetness and a clean finish. “Imperial Bock is a big, bold beer, coming in at 12.5% alcohol content by volume,” said Alaskan Brewing Communications Manager, Andy Kline. “Apparently, German friars would sustain themselves on doppelbock while fasting during lent. But I’d recommend pairing Imperial Bock with equally rich and hearty foods like venison, pork or duck,” said Kline.
In homage to the Eisbock style, the label features the spotted seal, which inhabits the icy border areas where sea ice mixes with open water on the continental shelf of the Beaufort, Chukchi, and Bering Seas in the Arctic.
Imperial Bock will be available beginning in December in the 25 states where Alaskan beer is distributed.
Alaskan Brewing Co. was founded in Juneau, Alaska, in 1986 by Marcy and Geoff Larson. Then 28, they solicited help from about 80 investors to form the country’s 67th independent brewery at the time, the first since prohibition in Juneau. Though founded in 1986, its history reaches back to the Gold Rush Era, from which many recipes draw inspiration.