“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”

The Maibock, an 18th-century German-style bock, goes by various names across regions. Maibock, which means “May beer,” is also called a Heller Bock, Helles, or Lente Bock in some European areas.

Originating in Munich, brewers combined traditional methods with 18th-century technology to craft the Maibock, a seasonal beer symbolizing the transition from spring to summer. The style is a type of German Lager, coming from the stereotypically roasty, malty, and rich Bock family. The Maibock does follow traditional Bock brewing techniques but uses paler malt and more hops to balance out the malt bill, leading to a more aromatic and cleaner-tasting beer.


The Bock Family

Bock beer has a rich history that spans several centuries, continents, and cultures, beginning in the 14th century in Einbeck, Germany.


Einbeck, Germany

Einbeck served as the largest trading seat of Northern Germany, and just so happened to be in Europe’s hop-growing region, and their beer was the first to use hops. Einbeck could actually export their beer because of the hops’ preservation and antimicrobial properties.

Einbeck’s beer was revolutionary, using the palest malts available, and was brewed only in the winter and lagered for long periods of time. Meanwhile, the rest of the world wasn’t using hops just yet– they still brewed with gruit, an herb mixture, for bittering and flavoring beer. Münich, the de facto brewing capital of the world, wanted their beer to be on par with Einbeck’s, which was harder and harder to get due to the ongoing conflict, the Thirty Years’ War, impact on trading.

Germans loved Einbeck’s style of beer so much that the city leaders of Munich invited the renowned Einbeck brewer, Elias Pichler. He taught the Munich brewers his process of making Bock beer, and the style became a staple of the region, and later, the world.

The traditional bock is dark, bottom fermented, lightly hopped, and usually has an ABV between 6-7%.

Bridging Two Worlds Through Malt

Until the 19th century, pale malt wasn’t widely used. Einbeck brewers used the lightest available, but even then, the beer was still significantly darker than what we’re accustomed to today due to the malt-roasting technology at the time. Roasting malt was tricky business– maintaining a consistent temperature was incredibly difficult, and malt came out at worst, burnt, and at best, uneven, smokey, and dark.

Everything changed in the 19th century when a British engineer, Daniel Wheeler, invented a revolving drum kiln that was easier to control and allowed for more precise killing.

Daniel Wheeler’s mock-up revolving drum kiln

The new style of drum kiln made its way to Pilsen, Czech Republic, where brewers created incredibly popular new styles such as the Bohemian Pilsner, leading the very town to be named after the Pilsner Malt.

Traditional bock styles were widely associated as seasonal beers, especially for festivals and holidays. Bocks were brewed to be consumed in the winter, while the stronger doppelbock was made for the early spring. There was a gap in the market, and a beer for the late spring/early summer was needed.

This vacuum was filled when Münich brewers made a beer with a similar malt bill as the popular Czech Republic styles, but with their own twist. Using Bock brewing techniques, they created a brand new style of bock, and just in time for the annual May Day celebrations. Named after the ongoing festivities at the time, the Maibock drank like a strong lager with the familiar malt presence that Munich was famous for, except with a paler roast.

Traditional May Day celebration in Germany



Germans, and Lagers, and Goats, oh my.

Bock translates to goat in German, and the animal is often associated with the style, seen in beer packaging, advertisements, and art. So what’s the deal? Lost to history, the real reason remains unsolved, but there are a few good theories:

1.) Goat violence

Due to the strength and high alcohol content of the Bock styles, the beer was said to “kick like a goat,” and when bar patrons fell out of their stools from one too many Bock beers, the patrons would say “a goat kicked their chair”, and the name eventually stuck.

Vintage Bock poster


2.) Astrology? Capricorns? Monks? Beer? What?

During medieval times, old German monasteries would brew a strong bock as a source of nutrition during their Lenten fasts. Others believe it was made with more of a pagan connotation, only being brewed during the sign of the Capricorn

goat, hence the name “Bock”.

Vintage Bock beer label


3.) We’re in Athens, Georgia, so we’re no stranger to thick accents, and neither was medieval Germany

Bocks were first brewed in the northern part of Germany in Einbeck, then gaining popularity down south in Bavarian Münich. Due to their thick, southern accents, citizens of Münich incorrectly pronounced Einbeck as ein Bock, meaning billy goat in German, and thus the beer became known as Bock.


Brewing a Maibock

Maibocks stay true to their German roots and typically use all German ingredients. They generally feature Pilsner malt, Vienna malt, and/or Munich malt. Hops are more prominent in Maibocks as compared to other bocks, but remain very mild and approachable. Noble hops are used to give the beer those floral, grassy notes that are reminiscent of spring. European lager yeast strains are used but most lager yeasts work great for brewing this beer.


Appearance: Has a distinct gold color, almost straw-like with a nice white, foamy head. Very clear. Medium to fast rising bubbles.

Aroma: Subtle malty sweetness and floral, grassy notes. Pleasant, light aromatics that are not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Soft body with medium to high carbonation. Short to medium finish. Drinks smooth despite the presence of lots of bubbles.

Taste: Crisp, floral, aromatic hoppiness at the forefront followed by notes of malt and baked bread. Less malt-forward than other blocks. Little to no hop bitterness. Clear notes of earth and honey round out the taste to give balance


The Maibock stands as a testament to the resilience and adaptability of brewing traditions. As we savor each sip of this historic brew, we not only taste the craftsmanship of generations past but also the boundless creativity of modern brewers. At Athentic, our own Maibock, GOAT, reflects our commitment to honoring the rich heritage of beer while pushing boundaries with innovative techniques and ingredients. So, as we raise our glasses to toast the Maibock, let us also raise a toast to the enduring spirit of exploration, discovery, and community that defines the world of craft brewing. Here’s to the Maibock—may its legacy continue to inspire and delight beer lovers for generations to come.




Oysters and stouts have a long-standing history. A weird combination for some, but for those in the know, there’s a rich history behind the pair and an even more interesting beer style to go along with it. The oyster stout.

In a surprising twist, oysters are actually added to the beer – yes, you read that right. This practice may seem unconventional, but it has roots that trace back to the early 1800s when oyster shells were utilized as a filter bed in brewing. Brewers would pour the mash over crushed shells to separate the spent grain from the wort. This was initially a technical process, but it eventually led to the creation of the Oyster Stout in New Zealand a few decades later.

Across the globe in Athens, Georgia, and many years later, Athentic decided to do our take on an Oyster Stout with a little help from the experts. We had our friends, Patrick and Noah, over from Seabear and we started throwing around ideas for our next collab beer. On the brew day, we had an excellent day hanging around, talking shop, and enjoying each other’s company. The Seabear team provided the oyster meat and oyster shells, and we all crowded around the boil, excitingly throwing out potential names and planning the beer release party.

Noah and Patrick from Seabear helping out on the brew day.


A few days went by and we finally landed on the very appropriate name, “Get Shucked.” There are loads of Oyster Stouts on the market, but this is the first-ever Georgia-brewed oyster stout made with Georgia oysters! Except we hadn’t made a beer like this before, so we were all but biting our nails to the quick hoping the batch turned out well. Luckily ales don’t take very long to brew, and 3 weeks later we got to try it for the first time.

Derek adding the oyster shells to the brew.


Noah and Patrick joined us on a dreary January morning to tap the keg and get a first taste, and we couldn’t have had it turn out any better. It’s mineral-driven yet perfectly balanced and has a light mouthfeel so more than one can be enjoyed, and the best yet? It’s a sweet little 5%. We were pumped, and the matter was settled. Athentic would throw a release party with half the kegs, and Seabear would have one just a few weeks later with the other half of the batch.

Paul, Noah, Patrick, and Derek watching the boil. 


We had our first event for the release on February 4th, and the pocket-sized shuck truck from Seabear adorned our patio for people to enjoy their beer with some half-shelled raw oysters. We knew the town loved oysters and beer, but Y’all drank us out of house and home— we only had 1 keg left by the end of the day!

Needless to say, we love collaboration beers. The energy and curiosity that folks approach us with when a collab beer is being born is second to none. The creative energy of Athens comes alive when like-minded people come together to make something beautiful. And this collab reminded us that risks are oftentimes worth taking with the right people.

Get Shucked on Seabear’s bar, ready to be enjoyed.

Earlier this year, Dawn and I went on a beer-centric trip to London with Brewtopia Tours, hosted by Owen Ogletree, which included a couple days at the Great British Beer Festival and numerous pub crawls throughout historic London neighborhoods.

In London England, tradition is everywhere from the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace to the dark wood, brass fittings and intricate architecture found in the old pubs (also referred to as public houses). The experience transports you to another time to be haunted by ghosts of the past.

Even the beer is steeped in tradition and one of our favorite styles was the Dark English Mild. This style was served fresh from the cask at nearly all the pubs we visited. Refreshing with a complexity of malty flavors and low alcohol made the consumption easy.

Part of daily routine was to start each day with a traditional English breakfast then head out by bus, tube and train to the neighborhood for which we would be exploring. The term “Mind the Gap” was announced and written everywhere to heed as a precaution to the wary traveler to step carefully when entering and exiting these various modes of transportation or pay the consequence.

Inspired by the memories of our trip, Owen and the Athentic Brew Crew collaborated to create our version of a Dark English Mild, appropriately called Mind the Gap. The release is Friday, November 18th at the Athentic Taproom, where we will usher in the festivities by raffling an opportunity for someone to tap a cask at 6PM. Come join us for a fun evening and we will share with you more great memories from our trip!


The founders at Brew Fest

In our prior post about our Wee Heavy Scottish Ale, “My Naughty Little Pet” (Part I), we had just concluded a very long brew day brew day and the Edinburgh Yeast was added to the freshly brewed wort. Let’s start from there.

It is said that brewers make the wort and the yeast make the beer. True That! Since we were making an ale, the wort had to be maintained at a constant temperature of 68 F (20 C) for about two weeks. Since fermentation produces a substantial amount of heat, the tanks must be cooled constantly to maintain the proper temperature.

The fermenter is sealed off from the air except for a long narrow vent pipe, which allows carbon dioxide to escape from the fermenter. Since there is a constant flow of CO2 through the pipe, outside air is prevented from entering the fermenter, which reduces the threat of contamination by stray yeasts.

Once it was decided that the fermentation was nearing completion, we took a gravity reading in order to gauge the level of alcohol and to taste the beer for the first time. We then decided to transfer 10.5 gallons from the fermentor into a cask containing oak spirals previously soaking in bourbon whiskey and cocoa nibs. The fundamental distinction between cask and other ales is that the yeast is still present and living in the container from which the cask ale is served, although it will have settled to the bottom and is usually not poured into the glass. Because the yeast is still alive, a slow process of fermentation continues in the cask or bottle on the way to the consumer, allowing the beer to retain its freshness.

The beer remaining in the fermentor was allowed to finish fermentation and was then force carbonated and kegged. Both the cask version and the keg (draft) version of “My Naughty Little Pet” clocked in at nearly 9.5% ABV. Although these were hefty beers in terms of alcohol, they were so well balanced with flavor, aroma and mouthfeel, that they were easy to consume and how they ultimately gained their reputation as “naughty” pets.

We had so much fun sharing both versions of “My Naughty Little Pet” at the Classic City Brew Fest on April 7th, while talking up the Athentic Brewery launch to all our fans and friends. We even got to chat on Beer Guys Radio with hosts Tim Dennis and Brian Hewitt. In all, it was a great day for Athens and Georgia Craft Beer. Cheers to Owen Ogletree and his Team for another great Classic City Brew Fest!

In preparation for the 2019 Classic City Brew Festival (April 7th at the Cotton Press, Athens GA), we wanted to brew something that had some significant heft; deep flavors and a decent alcohol presence. Afterall, the Classic City Brew Fest is rated as a Top 20 US Beer Festival for Beer Geeks (by Connoisseur Magazine). As an added bonus to our excitment at being at Brew Fest, all proceeds go to benefit the Athens Area Humane Society! In honor of the festival and its chosen charity, we decided to break out our Wee Heavy Scottish Ale, a “take no prisoners” style of malty beer,  that we named “My Naughty Little Pet”.

Mark and Paul first brewed “My Naughty Little Pet” back in November of 2014. It was brewed again for the 2018 Peach State Brew Off, where it took a 2nd place medal. Each time, it has been refined with the intention to coax more flavor from the big, malty grain bill and the Edinburgh Scottish yeast strain.

We brought back a favorite for our maiden voyage on our Ruby Street Pilot Brewing System and our SS BrewTech Fermentor. The grain bill was a massive 110 lbs. in a 45-gallon mash tun so once the milled grains were added to the warm water, there was no turning back.

It was a long brew day. In some respects, this was because of the beer style and longer boil time but also because we encountered our share of unexpected learning opportunities. This is a nice way of saying we didn’t have our sh%& together. As homebrewers, we mostly brewed on a 5-gallon system that did not require any pumps and so here we are debating which pump feeds in what direction to get the wort recirculating between the mash tun and hermes coil in the hot liquor tank. Then realizing, that in fact, we didn’t even have the pump plugged in. Or when we were ready to connect the fermentor to the glycol loop to regulate the temperature and then realizing the connectors from the tank did not match the connectors on the glycol loop. This was fixed with a quick trip to Lowes. Whew…

The good news is that we ultimately prevailed and successfully (knock on stainless) got the wort into the fermenter and added the yeast.  Our “Naughty Little Pet” has been happily fermenting ever since and in 2 weeks, we will transfer the finished beer into a cask and some kegs. This will be our first time working with a cask so we are excited as you are to see the final results.

Stay tuned for Part II where we will report back on introducing our pet at the Classic City Brew Fest. Also, check out our Facebook page the day of the event for live feeds, Q&As, and maybe some special surprises!