One of my favorite beer styles is the Weizenbock, and I keep my eye open for different examples as it’s pretty hard to come by here in the U.S. Victory Brewing Company produces one named Moonglow, but it’s only on tap for about three weeks each year. I know several other breweries have made the style over the years, including Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams and Weyerbacher, but they generally only do so as a seasonal. I decided to try a German example of the style to see how it compares to the few American examples I’ve been able to find, so I picked up Ayinger’s Weizen-Bock.
The Weizenbock style is a fairly new arrival on the scene, having been developed by Weisse Brauhaus in Munich as competition to the Doppelbock beers. Examples vary a bit in character, with some, such as this beer, tasting almost like a big hefeweizen and others having a much darker, bocklike character. Ayinger Brewery in Germany produces Weizenbock. Ayinger is a midsized brewery located in the town of Aying, about 15 miles outside of Munich, producing about 3 million gallons per year. Unfortunately for us, only about 10 percent of that product is exported from Germany. The brewery has won numerous awards over the years, although this beer is fairly new to Ayinger’s lineup and has yet to win any awards.
The Ayinger Weizen-Bock poured a hazy, translucent golden yellow. A single finger of fine white head formed, but this quickly dissipated, leaving virtually no lacing on the glass. The aroma was a clove-focused spiciness over the yeast character, with hints of light, orangey citrus. The carbonation was sharp and sparkly. Even though it was only moderately carbonated, it fizzed out right away. The mouthfeel was moderately thick, but it thinned out a bit toward the end. The taste was fairly sweet and tangy but was dominated by the yeast throughout, especially at the finish. Overall, this beer reminded me of a slightly caramelized hefeweizen. Personally, I didn’t really like the yeast character, which just seemed kind of off. I think the bottle may have sat on the shelf too long, or perhaps it was damaged on the boat from Germany.
I tried this beer with both Gouda and cheddar, and I found it went surprisingly well with both. After tasting how well the beer complemented the delicacy of the Gouda, I was surprised that it didn’t clash more with the sharp cheddar but rather backed it up quite nicely. I also had some slices of apple, the light sweetness of which went quite nicely with the yeastiness of the beer. This beer should be served in a Weizen glass, familiar from other wheat beers, although I prefer a smaller glass given the potency of some examples of this style. This beer will go pretty well with just about everything, in my opinion, as there are so many different aromas and tastes in it. Different foods will bring out different flavors.
This beer was OK, but like most German wheat beers, I think it has transport issues. I honestly have enjoyed American examples more (including my own homebrew). I think this beer is worth a try, but it’s not something that I would search too hard for here in the U.S.