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What is Doppelbock Beer? Can I find it in Calgary? YYCTOURS

Updated: Dec 21, 2023

YYCTOURS Presents Doppelbock: The History, Origin, and Meaning of this German Style Beer sometimes you can find it in Calgary

1. Doppelbock: What are its origins?

Aside from being one of our favourite styles of beer here at YYCTOURS, Doppelbock is a strong, dark lager that originates from Germany. It differs from most lagers in that it is a malt-forward beer that is full-bodied and rich in flavor. Doppelbock was traditionally brewed in the Franconian city of Einbeck during the 14th century. It was made in the winter and stored in cellars or caves to help it stay cool during the summer months.

The name "bock" means "Goat" and “Doppel” means “double” in German. Although the beer contains no goat, the Double is in reference to the beer’s higher alcohol content and richer flavor. Doppelbock has a heavy alcohol content and is typically around 7-10% ABV with a deep amber or brown color.

If you are a fan of malt-forward beers, then Doppelbock is definitely a style you should try! Keep reading to learn more about the history, origin, and meaning of this German style beer and of course let us know if you want us to try and find some for your next Calgary beer tour.

two people sitting at a table eating snacks and drinking beer.

2. The History of Doppelbock

Doppelbock has a long, rich history in Germany. In the 1600s, Doppelbock beer was exported to Munich where it was renamed the “Sankt Vaterbier” or “Our Father’s Beer”. It was then named the “Salvator” after the brewery added a malt extract that made it double the strength of the original beer.

In the 1700s, a monk named Brother Barnabas brewed the beer and named it “Maximator” at the Paulaner Brewery in Munich which is still around today. It was said that the beer was so strong that it helped the monks through the long winter months and fasting periods. This was the beginning of the Doppelbock beer style as we know it today.

Nowadays, there are over 100 Doppelbock beers that are brewed around the world. From the classic Salvator by Paulaner, to modern variants such as the New World HopTrippa by Surly Brewing, Doppelbock has become a popular beer style with a beloved heritage.

A pint of doppelbock at the establishment brewery
Doppelbock at The Establishment.

3. Doppelbock Today

Doppelbock is a beer that has been around for centuries and its popularity continues to grow today, but it is not always easy to find in the Calgary beer scene. The brewing process for this beer style is longer, involving weeks of aging, which add to the complexity of the flavor and aroma. However, it seems to always be on tap at the 2021 Canadian Brewery of the year (The Establishment).

Doppelbock flavours can range from sweet, to dark fruit aromas, and can be either light or strong bodied. Many brewers will also add other aromatic and flavour-enhancing ingredients to the brew, including spices, fruits and other adjuncts.

In terms of food and drink pairings, Doppelbock is a great beer to be paired with various dishes. It goes wonderfully with roasts, baked macaroni and cheese and other savoury dishes. It also complements desserts such as German chocolate cake and brownies.

Today, Doppelbock is often associated with the holiday season, with winter beers being some of the more commonly brewed Doppelbock styles. Whether you are celebrating the holidays with friends or just want to enjoy a rich and complex beer, Doppelbock is the ideal choice.

pouring beer from a barrel
Barrel aged beer

4. Why Doppelbock is Special

Doppelbock is a style of beer with a distinctive and special taste that makes it stand out from other beers. Unlike many other beers, this German style beer is brewed using a special process that takes time and effort. The result is a beer with a richer, more complex flavour.

Doppelbock is a lager that is often brewed with a double mash process. The brewing process allows the malt to caramelize, which helps to create a flavour profile that is unique to Doppelbock. This is the reason that it has such a unique taste.

Doppelbock is also special because of its high alcohol content. This adds to the powerful flavour of the beer, which is why it is so often associated with celebratory occasions. If you like stronger than that, ask us about our Calgary Distillery Tours.

Finally, Doppelbock is a beer that is best enjoyed when shared with friends and loved ones. Not only does it please the palate, but its complexity makes it a great conversation starter and allows people to reflect on their experiences over a cold beer. So, next time you’re looking for a special beer, why not try a Doppelbock for a truly unique experience.


Be sure to follow YYCTOURS Calgary brewery tours social media and blogs for more articles. You may also like Calgary Beer and Beer Flight of the Week - 33 Acres Brewing

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