17 Apr The Buzz on Honey, I’m Bock!
Honey, I’m Bock! comes to us in April of 2019 as the fourth release in this year’s Moonlight Kettle Series. This beer program is available on tap at the brewery, select partners and direct delivery through Beer Club.
Say hello to the staff trio behind the brew: Darren Sutton, National Inside Sales Manager; Alanna Crawford, Safety and Sustainability Coordinator; and Dave Krzyk, Brewer.
First off, tell us a little bit about what you do at Muskoka Brewery.
Darren: My team and I are responsible for facilitating all beer orders from end to end for all sales channels in Ontario as well as export (out of province).
Alanna: Essentially, I ensure that everybody is working safely. On the environmental side, I look for innovative ways to treat waste water, decrease energy consumption and our carbon footprint, and discover best practices in what our staff can do on that side as well.
Dave: I’m a brewer. I’m responsible to make sure that quality is consistent on a day to day basis.
What are the origins of the maibock?
Darren: The maibock originated in Germany in the mid to late 1800’s and is more hop centric than regular bock beers and typically stronger at 6.2% ABV or higher. It is an updated bock style which is a lager-style recipe vs ale.
Alanna: It was traditionally brewed for lent. “Maibock” comes from the term coined for billy goat (random, I know).
Dave: Brewed in the central town of Einbeck, it became awfully popular in Bavaria, where their wacky dialect causes them to pronounce the town “ein bock,” meaning “billy goat” in German
Tell us about the brewing process. What are the advantages of this beer style/brewing? What are the challenges?
Dave: Brewing a maibock, we used German malts, German and Czech hops, locally sourced honey, and toasted buckwheat. The advantage of brewing this style was the simplicity of the recipe.
What made you want to try this style? What inspired the addition of honey?
Darren: The maibock is traditionally a spring beer, so we thought it would be appropriate for April… also this is the 1st maibock style to enter the Moonlight Kettle Series. The honey inspired by spring and we thought the taste would work really well with the hoppier profile and strong malty tones
Tell us about the honey.
Darren: In the spirit of adding in local Ontario ingredients, we sourced out honey from Kawartha Honey located in Bobcaygeon and they are passionate about creating the highest quality honey.
Alanna: We found the honey local business in Bobcaygeon, we always try to support local when we can.
Walk me through a tasting of the beer.
Darren: Gold brown colour, floral with a hint of earthiness aroma, and taste is a smooth balance of toasty and carmelized malt flavours with a subtle hint of honey.
Alanna: Appearance: very much a honey liquid gold, relatively clear. Smell: it’s very bready crust on the nose with a slight sweetness. Taste: it’s a very soft honey sweetness.
Dave: Pours a golden brown with a crystal clear white head and light carbonation. Floral and earthy tones on the nose with a smooth and toasty caramel in the body with a little after taste of honey. Overall, it’s a well-balanced beer between sweet and bitter.
What inspired the name “Honey, I’m Bock!”?
Darren: In keeping with the creative spirit of Moonlight Kettle, we wanted our name to draw attention to both the honey characteristics of the beer and the unique maibock style with a drop of humour.
Alanna: We wanted a play on words with Honey and maibock.
What inspired the artwork?
Darren: We wanted to connect the moon face to the creation of honey, so we made the eyes honey combs with a bunch of bees flying around the moon
Alanna: We wanted bees, combs, honey – anything that could play off that theme.
Dave: We wanted to make the moon on the label stand out and be unique. The eyes turned into honeycombs dripping with honey and bees flying around.
Where can people in your territory find Honey, I’m Bock!?
Bars and restaurants tap at their own discretion and our Moonlight Kettle kegs go fast! Always a good idea to call ahead if you’re going just for the beer of the month. Find the full list here: Beer Locator.
Alanna: Griff, Old Station and the taproom, but there are plenty around Ontario if you look up Moonlight Kettle with the Beer Locator.
What do you enjoy most about the MLK program?
Darren: The collaboration with fellow members of the Muskoka Team as well as the opportunity to be creative and create something really unique.
Alanna: I like that you get randomly put together with people from another department, fostering cross-collaboration. It’s a cool experience when you get to take ownership for one of Muskoka Brewery’s creations and have your name right on the label.
Dave: Being able to design a recipe and share it with the public.
Have you ever seen a maibock with honey before?
Dave: Not yet.
What do you plan on pairing Honey, I’m Bock! with?
Darren/Dave: Bacon wrapped scallops-the saltiness of the bacon and mildness of the scallops will compliment the sweet and malty flavours of the beer
Alanna: Butter tarts.
First craft beer you remember trying?
Darren: Muskoka Cream Ale.
Alanna: It was ours! At my birthday, I got to take my on-boarding survival pack home and it’s been a favourite ever since.
Dave: Steam Whistle.
What inspired you to begin your beer career?
Darren: Since trying Muskoka Cream Ale, I have thoroughly enjoyed the craft beer scene and the many unique styles and profiles that get created every year.
Alanna: I started out in the taproom, my family always drank Muskoka and my older brother worked on Taylor Rd back when there were only seven employees.
Dave: I was inspired by the process of making beer and creativity and freedom craft beer offers.
What do you think people know you for in the beer industry?
Darren: Committed to the success of the Brewery and enjoying the outstanding culture day in and day out.
Alanna: Before it was pouring in our taproom, and now it’s more on the people side of things. I got to know the community from the customer side, and now I’m making connections with other breweries as we collaborate over environmental.
What are your hobbies and interests beyond craft beer?
Darren: Golf, skiing, boating, hiking, and enjoying family time at the cottage
Alanna: My dog, my dog, and my dog, Reno, and I’m always renovating my house. I refurbish old furniture. I play a little piano. I really like camping and anything outdoors.
Dave: Spending time outdoors and fishing.