I’m back in Pittsburgh to visit my parents for Thanksgiving. And, as my dad isn’t a beer drinker (he prefers wine), we didn’t have much beer in the house when my brother and I arrived. So, it was time for a beer run :). And, in case you're not aware of Pennsylvania’s silly beer laws, beer can only be sold by the case here — the logic is that people would drink less that way (or something).
So, my brother and I headed off to a beer store (yeah, a beer-only store, since beer can’t be sold in supermarkets here). As we perused the aisles, we came across St. Nikolaus Bock from Pennsylvania Brewing. There were a couple other tempting beers, such as Sam Adams Octoberfest, but we decided to go for a case of the St. Nikolaus Bock as we’d probably have a hard time finding Penn Brewing beers elsewhere.
After chilling a few bottles in the fridge, Adrian and I popped open a few later that evening. I took a few sips and realized that this was undeniably a bock — there was plenty of malt flavor without much of a hops presence. And, it reminded me a bit of Paulaner Salvator (a dopplebock) as both had overtones of caramel and raisins.
Both of them are good beers but they’re not really sipping-beers. As sweet as they are, they’re almost unpleasant when drank on their own; but they can be rather enjoyable with the right food to accompany them. And, just to assuage my curiosity, I decided to check on which foods would be suitable for a bock. BeerTown has a section on food/beer pairings where they suggested barbecued salmon with a dry bock (that and limburger cheese, but I’m not sure when I’ll next run across some limburger).
And, RealBeer offers the interesting suggestion that sweeter bocks could be paired well with “heartier, spicier desserts, such as pumpkin pie or spice cake.” Now, are you thinking what I’m thinking? Considering that we’re in the Thanksgiving season, my family had both pecan and pumpkin pies yesterday; and, we had some leftover as well. So, perhaps around 10pm one evening, I may have to partake in a snack of some pumpkin pie along with St Nikolaus Bock :).