Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Spatenbräu Bock Mug

We know the Germans tend to take their beer seriously. Well, if this ornately decorated mug from Munich's Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu is any indication, they take their glassware art pretty seriously, too.

Talk about an intricate design – well more than your average Joe starting at (or into) a mug of beer would probably care to occupy himself with.

But he should – there's lots of interesting stuff going on here (click the image for a closer look). Beer folk won't puzzle over the billy goat featured so prominently here; rather, they'll likely take it as a strong clue as to what beer the Spaten bräumeisters have in mind for this glass. "Bock," it so happens, is the German word for the horned creature we see here, and although it's been suggested that Bockbier derives its name from the city of Einbeck, where the style is said to have originated, the billy goat has become firmly established as official spokesanimal for these rich, malty brews.

And indeed, close inspection of the design reveals this glass belongs to "Spatenbräu Bock," a fairly rare Maibock that makes most of its appearances (or its recent ones, the evidence suggests) on draft only. I've not had this beer in a few years, but I recall it being good – typical of Spaten offerings.

Above the familiar spade logo, the billy rears magnificently in front of what are either rays of light or stalks of barley (Both nourish and sustain life, don't they?) while what looks like a hop bine curls overhead.

Drink enough powerful Bock from this ample (half-liter) mug, and you might end up feeling as mighty as its strapping, confident mascot. Best to stay away from the tin cans, however. Your teeth will thank you.

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