06 March 2009

Genesee Bock Beer (NY)

Session #25: Lager. The Beer Nut suggests we "return to our roots" and calls for us to leave those fancy-pants imported lagers aside. In his kick off post, he also writes up Dundee Honey Brown Lager and calls it the very sort of fancy-pants imported lager we should not be blogging about, and this is a problem for me, for whom Dundee Honey Brown is local, not imported, and stands as the quintessential middlebrow brau. There is roughly the same amount of space between it and Budweiser as there is between Applebee's and Wendy's. So what lager can I find that fills the space between craft and crap?


Actually, The Beer Nut backtracks a bit and says Honey Brown is exactly the sort of beer we should discuss. Nonetheless, I felt self-conscious about over-shooting this one. Fortunately for me, this is the time of year where Genesee (ultimately, the same brewery that makes the Dundee line) releases its "special edition" Bock Beer. The brew is a bit darker than The Beer Nut's recommended pilseners, light lagers, or helleses, but it runs about $6.50 for a 12-pack, so I don't think I aimed too high on this one. And how can anyone resist the early-60s-wallpaper style can design?


Genny Bock is attractive enough to justify pouring into a glass: clear amber with a big (but superficial) head. On the tongue, it's over-carbonated and light-bodied. The finish will prove to be metallic (or maybe that's just me fixating on the can). But before that, it's a pretty good beer. A little caramel flavor, some very light floral hops. It's not too sweet or corny or rice-y. It doesn't warm all that well, but is more than just thirst-quenching for 90 degree days. It's damn well better than any other Genesee beer. I never regret buying a full 12-pack, although one pack a year usually suffices.

I can't say Genny Bock is really a 'roots' beer for me. I didn't drink this in high school or college, and it wasn't a regular choice for me before I became connoisseur and hobbyist. Still, I'm glad to see it when it comes out each year. It's what an unpretentious value lager should be, and it's a shame there aren't many American regional breweries that produce stuff like this anymore.

45 comments:

Jeff said...

The retro-minded look of the packaging has really caught on. I see this stuff flying out of Wegmans, and Joe at the Tap & Mallet has been stocking it too. This is the market Genesee should pursue - the whole retro-minded back-to-basics hometown feel. With the new owners at the brewery, I wouldn't mind at all if they killed Dundee (never thought any of their beers have been particularly interesting or all that good) and refocused on Genesee.

Buttle said...

Dundee could use a step up in quality, but craft/micros is a crowded market to break into regardless. Maybe the American-owned, traditional regional approach would do better. They could even catch some of the Bud drinkers who are upset about the A-B sale.

Anonymous said...

Jeff if it wasn't for JW Dundee the Brewery would have closed up years ago. The Dundee line is the best selling craft pack in the USA, they invented the category.

Just pickedup a 12-pack of the Bock. It is good. I wonder what the alcohol content is?

Mike-Buffalo

Dan said...

Oh how I've waited for that little goat prancing merrily thru the yellow spring flowers !

Anonymous said...

Im a fifty one year old red blooded American. I use to drink this beer thirty years ago and I have to admit I was thrilled to see this beer back on the shelves. It brings me back to those hot balmy summer nights on the shores of lake Erie at Micky Rats! We use to drink this bock beer and thought we were so tough! Oh, we laughed and had such good times!

Anonymous said...

Being a former brewery worker (1979-83)I will say that it sure was nice to see the "Bock Beer" back on the shelves!! It has always been a favorite... along with the 12 Horse Ale!! If the brewery were to go back to it's roots, I'm sure there would be a lot of people whowould come back to the "home brand"!!

Buttle said...

12 Horse! Ah, those green bottles.

Anonymous said...

Former Buffalo NY Genesee drinker in the 70s ( mostly creme ale )... and saw the Bock beer on the shelf of a delaware liquor store. Grabbed it and just cracked one open.....nice, real nice. Sells for 5.49 down here.

The Professor said...

Damnn...I haven't been able to find Genny Bock anywhere in NJ. This and the old 12 Horse were my favorite beers from Genessee. Hope I can get a case of this old favorite before it disappears again. Granted, it isn't a traditional German bock, but it was always a quenching brew nonethless. Besides, I need a break from the hop bombs that are so prevalent nowadays. Ironically, THOSE are all starting to taste the same.

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Anonymous said...

This is the second year that I have had the pleasue of drinking Genesse Bock Beer, and believe me it is really hard to find in the state of Tennessee, but a few of the specialty stores do carry it,but it goes for $7.99 per 12 pack. Last year I was only able to get my hands on 8 cases, which I stored in my cellar, and I just finihsed the last 12 pack in 12/2009, but this year I have made plans to get around 20 cases from one of the bigger speciality stores in middle Tennesse. I just love this beer even more than the Genessee Cream Ale, which beats the hell out of Budweiser. I am not sure about the alcohol content, but I would imagine that it is at least 5%, but it is the taste that keeps me searching for another 12 pack.

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Bob said...

Wegmans opening in MA soon - hope to find the Bock. BTW, I prefer Wendy's to Applebees - you implied Bud was crap - all Germans agree with you.
Morgun

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viagra said...

The presentation of the beer is quite good, there is something about green color on a beer, it make it look more refreshing.

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