A brief history of beer: Episode 4, Eisbock

Petros Demetrakopoulos
2 min readMar 14, 2021
Photo by Rinat T on Unsplash

Eisbock (aka ice bock) is a full bodied, strong lager originating from Germany.
As many beer styles, this one was also discovered by accident.

The style is a traditional specialty of the “Kulmbach” district of Bavaria. What makes it so special is the production procedure. After the fermentation end, Eisbock is partially freezed. Then, the water ice is removed from the container, barrel or tank (in the modern breweries) and thus the beer ends up with a more concentrated flavour and alcohol content.The process is known as “freeze distillation”.

The legend has it that during 1890, a young apprentice in a brewery located in Kulmbach left by mistake a barrel of bock (a strong German lager) outside during a heavy snowing winter night.
The next morning, the head brewer found the barrel that was forgotten outside during the night and he noticed that a heavy layer of ice had been created in the walls of the barrel. Due to the high alcohol content of the bock (which makes it difficult to freeze totally), the rest of beer was left intact and actually with higher alcohol content (because a part of water had been removed in the form of ice). Eisbocks usually range between 9–15% ABV and have a rich malty character.

Eisbock can be nicely paired with heavy meat dishes (pork, smoked duck etc) , aged Gouda cheese, Cmembert or a sweet dessert like crème brulee.

Petros Demetrakopoulos

💻Code-blooded, 🌏 Traveler, . Lifelong learner 📚. Currently studying Data Science and AI at TU/e, Eindhoven, NL. https://petrosdemetrakopoulos.github.io