As the seasons shift (or as we anticipate the seasonal shift) here in Cincinnati, so comes a new batch of seasonal beer for our drinking pleasure.  Bock beer is beloved here in town, after all, we’re host to the biggest bockfest in the nation… maybe even in the world.  It only makes sense that the beer that inspires the festival would be a big deal in this city, even if it’s only that way for a month or so.  (By the way, you can read a little bit about the history of Cincinnati’s Bockfest if you’d like)

If you’re not familiar with Bock beer, I encourage you to read up on it before you start diving in to the style.  There’s a ton of fun history associated with it, and the beers can get pretty big – we don’t want anyone getting caught off guard by high abv, easy drinking beers, do we?

Now that you’re ready – let’s have a look at all of the fantastic bock beers that are available for you to get your hands on around town!  If you find any that are missing, or find out that I’m wrong about one being available this year, PLEASE help a gnome out and let me know!

Blank Slate

  • Tank Bottoms – This Weizenbock takes some of the fun spirit that makes Bock season what it is, and couples it with a great beer.  If you haven’t heard the myth about where bock beer comes from, make sure you read up on your bock beer information.  After getting your trivia fulfilled, get out to Bockfest, or the Blank Slate taproom and grab one of these Hefe yeast fermented, 7% pints of deliciousness.  It’s on tap now!


  • Ignitor – This Maibock made it’s debut last year, and was an instant hit for all those people around town searching desperately for a great, solid traditional Maibock.  Leave it to Braxton to nail this German style.  It’s a draft only offering again this year, though one can hope that we might get to see cans for next years Bockfest.  Also, keep your eyes peeled for some of the draft only variants that the brewery makes, last years Peach Ignitor was to die for.

Cellar Dweller

  • Bock – This dark dunkel-bock is full of caramel, malty sweetness, and at 6.9% it holds it’s own without kicking your butt too fast. It’s well suited for either the cold winter air, or the warm spring breeze – either of which are not out of place for Cincinnati’s Bockfest celebration. A well crafted, traditional beer – make sure you look for this on draft around town.

Christian MoerleinChristian Moerlein

  • Emancipator – The first Doppelbock on our list this year, Emancipator is a classic in Cincinnati.  The brewery has been making it for years, and it’s become a favorite to many a loyal Bockfest fan.  This beer was first brewed to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the repeal of prohibition, but it’s a worthy beer to celebrate the start of spring as well.  This one is available on draft of course, but also in 12oz bottles at all your favorite bottle shops and stores around town.
  • Hudy Bock – Looking for a nice, easy drinking bock to wash down all that sausage you’re going to be eating during Bockfest?  This one might hit the spot perfectly for you.  You can usually find this one for nice and cheap in bottles, or available on draft here and there… certainly worth a taste!
  • Shoenling Bock – Each years winner of the Bockfest homebrew competition gets their beer produced on a commercial scale – this is that beer.  This years recipe was last years winner.  This recipe is from Joe Rezendes, it’s draft only, and usually my first beer of the weekend… drank way too early on a Saturday to kick things off in the proper way.


  • Freiheit – DogBerry loves their IPAs, but that doesn’t mean they can’t do a nice, smooth, caramelly, bready, sweet bock beer really well too.  It’s a draft only offering, and if you know anything about DogBerry, you know that they don’t distribute very much of anything around town, so you should probably make your plans to hit up the taproom to give it a go!

Fifty West

  • Road Bock – This is a nice, sweet Maibock with a great toasty character.  It comes in around 6% ABV, so it will cut though the chilly spring air, while not knocking you on your butt completely. Like most of the bocks around, it’s only available on draft – but if you see it, make sure you get a pint.

Hofbrauhaus Newport

  • Maibock, Urbock – Doing the uber traditional German thing is exactly what makes Hofbrau who they are.  They do it well.  Although their seasonal beers are only around for a short period of time, the brewery finally offers growler and crowler fills at their Newport brewpub – so get yours.  If it’s been a little while since you’ve been to the brewery, this might be your perfect excuse!

Listermann/Triple Digit

  • Gravitator – Available in both draft and bottle format, this beer is one of my favorite Doppelbocks that you’ll find in Cincinnati.  It’s massive, sweet and caramelly.  Like drinking liquid bread, which is exactly what I want my doppelbock beer to be.  What else do you expect from Listermann?  This is killer.
  • Friar Bacon – A smoked bock beer?  That doesn’t even begin to describe the level of smokiness that is in this beer – it’s like a liquified pork chop on a couple slices of heavy thick bread.  This beer is something special… unique, though a bit polarizing from people.  If you don’t like smoke, stay away, but if you do… get as much as you can get your hands on!  Available in bottles and draft.

MadTree BrewingMadTree

  • Bockaveli – It’s always safe to say that you’ll see at least a small batch of MadTree’s seaonsal bock, called Bockaveli on draft for the bockfest season.  This lager boasts a really nice nutty malt profile that brings notes of chocolate and dark brown sugar to the party.  If you have yet to give this a go, you’ll find it in the taproom, at bockfest, and on taps all around town for a short time during bockfest season!

Mash Cult

  • Bocksy Brown – Here’s a really fun situation that I don’t always run into with these seasonal rundowns.  I haven’t had this.  I can tell you that it’s a Doppelbock, coming in at 8.7%, and that it boats some nutty flavors that people seem to love.  Beyond that… I’m going to have to be lined up during Bockfest the same way everyone is to try to get this on draft (though I’m certain that they’ll also have it available on tap at their Party Town home in NKY.

Old Firehouse

  • Bock, Drop, and Roll – I think this bock is a really nice “darker” version of a bock beer, not quite to the level of being a dunkel bock, but it definitely showcases some really great chocolatey and even some light spice notes.  This is on draft now at the Old Firehouse taproom in Williamsburg, though I’m sure you’ll see it around town very quickly on tap as well!

Taft’s Ale House

  • Billy Goat Bock – Taft’s had a couple different bock beers last year, with Strudel Bock and Bop Beep Boop,  this years Billy Goat Bock continues the tradition.  It’s a draft only offering, and since it’s a new one, there is little information I can share with you.  Head out and give it a try, and leave a comment and let us know how it was!

Urban Artifact

  • Cincinnati Museum Center Bock – If you haven’t had this one, It’s looking like you have missed your chance.  I know that’s sad, but that’s also life in a beer scene as busy as Cincinnati’s is.  You can read a little bit more about this draft only offering here, but the important things to know is it’s fermented with wild yeast sourced from Union Terminal and barrel aged with cherries in a red wine barrel.  Are you sad that you missed it yet?  Yeah… thought so.


  • Brewhemian Bock – Wiedemann takes pride in putting out traditional styles to celebrate Cincinnati’s German heritage – this beer is no exception to that.  It’s malty, sweet, and definitely easy drinking.  Nice take on a dunkel bock, and a great one to add to your list for this season!

Woodburn Brewery

  • Bock – It may have a simple name, but this draft only beer should be pretty fantastic if you go off the current quality that is pouring from the taps at The Woodburn Brewery.  This beer is a new on this year, and as you’ve read a few times in this rundown that means I can’t give you my thoughts on it yet.  Leave a comment below and let us know what you thought about it.

Wooden Cask

  • Bock – A new addition to the list (I seem to be saying that a lot this year) Wooden Cask’s bock plays right in line with the traditional styles that have made Wooden Cask a favorite of so many Cincinnati beer fans.  I can’t wait to get a chance to try this one – if you beat me to it, please leave a comment with your thoughts about the beer below!

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