Lighter than winter’s stouts, porters, and barley wines, these golden lagers are still too heavy and high in alcohol to quench summer’s particular thirsts (after, say, mowing the lawn or sunbathing poolside). Maibocks showcase malt’s sweetness, tempering it with just a bit of hoppy bitterness. Because they don’t rely heavily on hops, a natural preservative, the quaffs demand to be enjoyed at peak freshness.
Not surprisingly, the best imports are German: Einbecker (pictured above), HofbrÁ¤u MuÌˆnchen, and Ayinger. Still, several American breweries produce outstanding renditions: TrÁ¶egs Cultivator, a bock made in Hershey, Pennsylvania; Dead Guy Ale, from Rogue Ales & Spirits in Ashland, Oregon; and Abita’s Andygator, brewed 30 miles north of New Orleans in Abita Springs, Louisiana.