12 BeersHere’s a variety pack with lots of variety: 12 bottles of 12 different beers. Saranac is brewed by FX Matt in Utica, NY, which is the same brewery that contract brews all of Brooklyn Brewery’s bottled offerings and some of their kegs. Now, Saranac beers aren’t always as interesting, rich or flavorful as what they brew for Brooklyn. But for $10.99 for a 12-pack, there are some real winners in this box.

I haven’t even made it through all 12 yet, but so far the Bock is a well-hopped, full-bodied rendition of the traditional German style. It pairs amazingly well with Buffalo wings… the hops stand up quite well to the kick of the hot sauce. If only they would sell it outside of the variety pack!

Other nice selections are a tasty Mocha Stout (a little thin in body, but rich in flavor), a Chocolate Lager (think of this as a “light” stout), and their delicious Black Forest (dark, malty, and full of caramel flavors). Only the Rauchbier was a disappointment… this take on a traditional German ‘smoke’ beer just wasn’t smokey enough for my taste.

Of course, if there’s a beer you don’t like, there’s only one in the box, so you won’t get stuck with a bunch of bottles you don’t want. At the same time, if there’s a beer you really like, the problem is there’s only one in the box!

Definition: Bock

Bock literally means “goat” in German. So, why call your beer a goat? Maybe because of the ‘kick’ this relatively high-alcohol lager will give you! A traditional Bock is typically a strong, dark, malty brew with hardly any noticable hop flavor. While overall a somewhat sweet brew, a slight bitterness in the finish is not from the hops but from the roasted grains.