This week we are releasing our Saxonator Dunkles Doppelbock, a style which comes along with one of the more memorable stories about German monastic brewing. The Monks had been using the beer they brewed to sustain themselves through long periods of ritual fasting. They also believed that beer cleansed both the body and the soul; the more one drank the holier they were.
The longest period of fasting was during Lent, which lasted 46 days. During this time they had no other use for their grain, so began adding more and more of it to their beer. Eventually they created a strong malty beer known as Bockbier. Then in the mid 1600s, Paulaner monks at Cloister Neudeck ob der Au in Munich, brewed an even stronger version, dubbed Doppelbock.
This beer was so delicious that the monks felt guilty drinking it during Lent. They felt that they needed to get a special writ from the Pope clearing them of any wrongdoing so they sent their finest cask off to Rome. The journey was long and the cask endured long periods of time baking under the sun. By the time it reached the Pope it had fully spoiled. He took one sip of the beer and declared that it was so vile that it would be to the benefit of one’s soul to suffer by drinking as much as one could stomach.
Their now papally sanctioned beer eventually became known as Salvator, in honor of their savior. It did not take long for other breweries to catch on and begin releasing their own Doppelbocks, which they all called Salvator as well. This situation persisted until 1894 when a patent law went on the books that forced other breweries to change the name of their Doppelbocks. Almost all of them picked new names that used the -ator suffix to remain as close as possible to the original.
This created a lasting tradition that we followed when naming our Saxonator Dunkles Doppelbock. It is named after our former family business, Saxony Ice Company, for which our Pilsner was also a namesake. The Dunkles refers to the fact that our Doppelbock is of a darker variation as opposed to a Helles Bock, which is light in color. The Saxonator is full bodied with raisiny, dark malt, and slight roasty characteristics. Lagered for two months, a smooth malt character balances the high 9% ABV of this strong beer. Enjoy carefully, as this beer’s incredible strength can quickly sneak up on you.