Steve Harrison
Bock beer's turn at the tap
Bock beer's turn at the tap

IN beer, the closest thing to the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau is the annual tapping of the maibock keg at the Hofbräuhaus am Platzl in Munich — which happens next Wednesday. This salute to spring doesn't stir many ripples over here because Americans don't know from bock. That's a shame. They might find it a welcome change of pace from both ordinary lager and the sharply hopped ales that are the rage at craft breweries. In brief, bock is a strong lager, heavy on the malt and light on the hops; a big, plush mouthful with few sharp edges. It combines the clean taste of a lager with some of the roasted flavors of a stout. If it were a wine, bock would be a soft...