For true beer fans, each season brings its own style of brew. Traditionally, spring means bocks. Bock beer in general is stronger than the average lager, with a more potent malt character, a slightly higher alcohol content and a deep amber hue. We gathered four beer experts--Matt Guyer of the Beer Yard, a beer specialty shop in Wayne, Pa.; New York City bartenders M.J. Keane and Rory Farrelly; and amateur beer aficionado Erika Ineson--to try some of the new seasonal offerings. Here are their favorites:
--Stoudt's Blonde Double MaiBock, which uses honey in its brewing to boost the alcohol content, ranked highest with our tasters, who thought the bright, rich flavor lived up to its perfect amber color.
--Troegenator Doublebock impressed everyone with its well-balanced malty, toasty and nutty flavors.
--Einbecker Mai-Ur-Bock is spritzier and fruitier than many bocks, with a lemon and honey background. It has a deep copper color and a good mouth-feel.
--Frankenheim Alt is a dry, hoppy, copper-colored ale, with a roasted taste.
--Ayinger Celebrator Dopplebock is a rich, creamy-smooth brew with a fresh aroma.
--By Lisa McLaughlin