Kraftbierwekstatt Der Schwarze Bock

Review Date 1/19/2022 By John Staradumsky


For Christmas of 2015, my wife bought me a really cool present: BeerAdvent Calendar 2015 from Kalea. In truth, my wife got me a lot of nice presents (she’s the best wife ever), but the nice thing about the Beer Advent Calendar is you get it early. You have to, since it’s comprised of 24 different imported German beers in a box with little doors that you open, one per day from December 1st through December 24th. All of the beers are listed on the side of the carton, however, so be careful not to look and spoil the daily surprises!

I love German beer more than beer from any other country on Earth, so this was definitely right up my alley. My one criticism of the calendar is there are not enough bocks and doppelbocks (not fair!), but otherwise it’s just an amazing way to sample 24 German beers I’ve never seen before. I get mine at Costco here in Georgia and pay on average $59.95 for the box. That might sound steep, but when you distribute that price over 24 different half liter cans, it only works out to $2.50 per can. Not a bad deal at all looked at that way.

Last year was a difficult year indeed, as Covid ravaged the world and it was not a sure thing that the Kalea Advent calendars would reach our shores. I braved Costco every week in September, masked with an N95, and finally scored my prize. For 2021, challenges of a different kind arose. Inflation and supply chain woes, thanks again to the persistence of Covid and the way it turned the global economy upside down in 2020, threatened once again to disrupt calendar distribution. On their Facebook page, however, Kalea promised that the calendars would arrive, and arrive they did. I found one at Costco in the second week of September, bought an extra for my future son in law, and stored mine safely away until December. The calendars sold for the same $59.95 they almost always have. Perhaps this was true in other years and I simply did not notice, but this year there were two box styles. One shows all of the included beers on the side, and the other does not, in case you want a true surprise each and every day.

On December 5th, behind the Day 5 door I found a can of Der Schwarze Bock from Kraftbierwerkstatt. Kraftbierwerkstatt is new to me, which is exciting, but I also very much love bocks-also exciting! You can read about the brewery here, but they do have an "Uber Uns" (about us) section I'll quote:

Die Kraftbierwerkstatt ist eine Gypsy-Brauerei mit Sitz in Böblingen (Region Stuttgart). Zum Brauen unserer Biere mieten wir uns bei kleinen mittelständischen Brauereien ein. Gebraut wird Craft Beer mit viel Bierliebe und auch Bierwut. Ergebnis: Außergewöhnliche Biere abseits vom uniformen Massentrend.

Which means if you don't speak German:

Kraftbierwerkstatt is a gypsy brewery based in Böblingen (Stuttgart region). To brew our beers, we rent from small and medium-sized breweries. Craft beer is brewed with a lot of beer love and also beer fury. The result: Exceptional beers apart from the uniform mass trend.

About Der Schwarze Bock they say:

Feinstes Roggenmalz macht diese kräftige Bierspezialität fast schwarz, dennoch ist sie unheimlich süffig und geht runter wie Öl. Im Nachtrunk folgen unzählige Aromen: Schokolade, getrocknete Früchte, Kaffee…die Liste ist fast endlos.

Allow me to translate once again:

The finest rye malt makes this strong beer specialty almost black, yet it is incredibly palatable and goes down like oil. The after-drink is followed by countless aromas: chocolate, dried fruits, coffee... the list is almost endless.

I have had plenty of beers in my day with a texture akin to the appearance of crude oil, but I am not sure I would use goes down like oil as a selling point.

Der Schwarze Bock the beer has an alcohol content of 6.2% by volume with 14 IBUs. Ingredients on the can are listed as water, barley malt, rye malt, and hops. My can is stamped EXP 2023/05. The first four beers in the calendar have been a Hefeweizen, two Helles, a Festbier, and now a bock. I think again this year we are heavy on the Helles style as so far we are at 40% Helles in style.

Der Schwarze Bock pours to a deep burnt caramel color with a thick fluffy head and a nose of toasted nuts and fresh cracked malt. Taking a sip, the beer is medium in body and comes right at you with those toasty, nutty, fresh malt flavors, a pinch of spicy rye,  and a hint of molasses. Melanoidin goodness on display, a classic single bock with a gentle grassy bitterness in the finish that loses its fight with the sweetness of the malt, but only by a hare.

I’m greatly enjoying my 7th annual Beer Advent Calendar with the day 5 beer. Here’s looking forward to the remaining 19, and another assortment of 24 in 2022. We’ll be on the lookout next year at Costco, and following the beers on their Facebook page.

The beers of the 2021 Beer Advent Calendar:

Day 1  Herrngiersdorf Grantler Hell

Day 2 Hoamat Weissbier

Day 3 Egerer Alms Hell

Day 4 Rheder Husarentrunk

Day 5 Kraftbierwerkstat Der Schwarze Bock

Day 6 Herrnbrau Zwickl Kellerbier

Day 7 Kurpfalz Bräu Helles

Day 8 Egerer Wiener Lager

Day 9 Teisnacher 1543 Festmärzen

Day 10 Käuzle German Pilsner Style

Day 11 Marie Hausbrendel Hell

Day 12 Ladenburger Weizenbock Hell

Day 13 Landgang Pils

Day 14 Flötzinger Hell

Day 15 Perlernzauber IPA

Day 16 Loncium Vienna Style Lager

Day 17 Propeller Bier Turbo Prop Pilsner

Day 18 Erlkonig Hell

Day 19 Meine Große Liebe Helles

Day 20 Graminger Kirta Dunkles Weissbier

Day 21 Wittmann Urhell

Day 22 Schlossbrau Rheder Original Pils

Day 23 Furst Carl Kellerbier

Day 24 Kartauser Doppelbock Dunkel

Glad I tried it?  T

Would I rebuy it??


*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.

(B)=Bottled, Canned