Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day with a surprise in a green can

Hey, I know bock is no traditional St. Pat's Day drink. But I figure everyone's drinking stout and whiskey anyway, so here's a change-up for you...and it is a green can. The real reason I brought it up, though?

Narragansett Bock is good shit. Seriously.

I figured this was going to be booze-o in a can-a-rama, to be honest; some slightly higher ABV suds that didn't really taste all that bocky. I would like to publicly apologize to Mark and the gang at Gansett for that, because I should have known better after the porter and Fest.

Here's the story. This is a blonde bock, well-made, beautifully clean and balanced, and the kind of beer that will make a lager-lover out of you if you have but an ounce of sense (not to get too far off the topic here, but if you're lucky enough to find some Shiner Fröst...that sweet little rendition of a Dortmunder will do it too; excellent beer, one of their best, IMO). I took a can to a Malt Advocate staff party recently, and we were all real impressed; best beer we had that day. So get out there and find some, if you're lucky enough to live in the Northeast! (Sadly, although we get 'Gansett in PA, we didn't get any Bock. Better get some next year, and we want draft, too!)

17 comments:

Machuca said...

I enjoy the Frost as well, which is not called Frost anymore. It is their Spring Ale (Dortmunder Style):
http://craftaustin.blogspot.com/2010/12/shiner-on-tear.html

Anonymous said...

I'm curious as to why you are so surprised? Is this fallout of beer snobbery? I know a lot of craft beer types are suspcious of anything that is not super small, expensive, highly rated on a subjective rate beer site, or comes from a brewery older than 50 years. I find that sort of prejudice annoying.

Even the title, with "seriously" reeks of perpetuating the snobbery thing. Why would we think you are joking? Because it's in a can?

I think that's part of the problem that doomed some of our recently defunct but beloved regional brands (think Liebotschaner). "Hey, this cant be good because it's (in a can, from an old brewery, an old name, not belgian) etc etc."

JP said...

Lew, who is doing the contracting High Falls used to do their porter Is this genny bock with a different label?

Anonymous said...

I'm curious as to why you are so surprised? Is this fallout of beer snobbery? I know a lot of craft beer types are suspcious of anything that is not super small, expensive, highly rated on a subjective rate beer site, or comes from a brewery older than 50 years. I find that sort of prejudice annoying.

Even the title, with "seriously" reeks of perpetuating the snobbery thing. Why would we think you are joking? Because it's in a can?

I think that's part of the problem that doomed some of our recently defunct but beloved regional brands (think Liebotschaner). "Hey, this cant be good because it's (in a can, from an old brewery, an old name, not belgian) etc etc."

Steven said...

Oh man -- I was wondering if you got yer mitts on the Shiner Dortmunder. What a great brew, eh? After the experimental six-pack I actually snapped up the last 12 pack in my county (at least within a 5 mile radius of my house).

Sadly, 'Gansett doesn't get this far west. Love to try it.

Lew Bryson said...

Fair question, Anony, but not so in this case; craft has nothing to do with it. I'm surprised because of experiences with beers from 'other old regionals' like Genny Bock, which pretty much was Genny and malt color. The retro packaging and theming of 'Gansett make that connection.
As for why I wrote it that way, well, there's still snobbery to overcome, and occasionally, a shock is a way to do that. I've already said several times, here and elsewhere, that I like 'Gansett and other mainstream lagers, so I don't feel a need to establish bona fides in that respect. Cheers!

B. Offrah said...

Havent tried gansett bock, hope I get a chance.

have to disagree about genny bock, I think it's a tremendous value and defintely has malt character that regular genny does not have, thus separating it. It may not be a craft bock that costs 2-3 times more, but to my mouth it's darn pleasing. (and the retro packaging rules)

JP said...

oh I disagree with you their Lew. Granted I never had genny bock back in the 80s or 70s (not trying to date you) but I think the last couple of years their bock has been pretty darn good especially at $6-7 a 12 pack! If you have not had it as of late give it another try. I have to say it blows Dick Yeungling's bock offering out of the water

Lew Bryson said...

Well, there you are; I am talking about the old Genny Bock, not the Pale Bock, which was indeed exceptional. Dating myself again.

sam k said...

Genesee (Dundee) quit making pale bock as a stand-alone case two years ago. Pity, it is. The flowery green goat-kid can is all there is, and it's still Sinamar colored Genny, fun though it may be.

That Narragansett bock was really, really, good!

Anonymous said...

So PA is good enough for Gansett Lager but no bock or porter?

sam k said...

Thinking about it a bit more, I really miss the discontinued Dundee's porter, too. WTF? It may have been their best effort. Why do all the good regional seasonals and specialties seem to go away?

Lee Botschaner said...

Sam K, I'm not sure it's discontinued, I think it is a half year seasonal. Included in the winter mixed case and then the stout in the summer mixed case. Unless they changed that. I agree with you the porter is exceptional and I do wish they would sell it in a case unto itself.

And I do like the present Genny Bock however it is made!

I think they go away because geeks would rather pay 50% more for the same, or leser quality, of beer from a "small craft" brewery that is highly rated on geek-sites. Think of it as the status thing, the reason people drink nationals, because it will make them look as happening as the actors in the tv commercials.

Lew Bryson said...

Lee,
I really think that last comment's a bit harsh and uncalled for, especially the same or lesser quality part. The regionals had a less than sterling record on quality, taken over the past 30 years as a whole. Granted, the micros were a bit spotty in the same period, but with a few exceptions, there were definitely quality issues at the regionals, and that memory hangs on. I have had crafts-made-at-regionals within the past year that were infected, and admitted to be so by the brewer. How about we say there are a number of issues here?

Lee Botschaner said...

Fair enough Lew but you cant deny that there are snobs in the geek community that discount beers (or elevate others) based on where they are brewed and other's subjective internet ratings. And others who use their choice in beer as a sort of status symbol, or as a validation of their "beer knowledge." I've sat next to these types at bars and they can be quite pompous.

You have more inside knowledge than I do but I've been burned by buying unpasturized small, craft beers in bottle (and occasionally on draft) much more than any regionals or nationals, going back 25 years of drinking.

As for comments being uncalled for I disagree as this is an open (thank you for that) forum and if something strikes a nerve there's probably a grain of truth to it.

anyway, to comment on your original post I do hope to see narragansett bock and porter in PA at some point and I think it's cool that they are being canned. who woulda thunk back in the day?

Steven said...

"...and I think it's cool that they are being canned. who woulda thunk back in the day?"

All of the new interest, and renewed angst, of beer in cans is funny across the 'net -- uh, I've been drinking Guinness from cans for, what, over 20 years now?

Oh yeah, Guinness Draught is beneath those "beer geeks" nowadays, isn't it? ;)

sam k said...

Yeah, I don't get the Dundee craft pack concept, where sopme of the3 beers are only available in the mixed case.

Never had a mixed case, from anyone, where I liked 'em all, and in most cases (get it?) the one or two I don't like I can't even drink.