It's not everyday you stick a hot iron in your beer!

Last winter, my wife and I heard about bockfest. While Bockfest (capital "B") is widely known as an annual festival of epic proportions held in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati, Ohio on the first full weekend of March, bockfests are held all over, generally in late winter/early spring, including right here in Minnesota.

The German bock is a traditional lager -- usually darker, maltier and stronger in alcohol content than most lagers. It's also a seasonal beer served to celebrate the coming of Spring which makes for a perfect excuse and occasion to throw a festival! One of Minnesota's most notable bockfests is August Schell Brewing Company's annual festival held in New Ulm. Their's is coming up this Saturday. While several bockfests were held around Minnesota last year, my wife and I were unable to make it out to any.

This past Saturday, however, we invited my two sisters and future brother-in-law to join us at Bauhaus Brew Labs in NE Minneapolis for their epic Fire & Ice Extra-Vaganza. In addition to food trucks, live music, skateboarding competition and even a pop-up sauna, they had fire pits roaring for s'mores and bock-poking!

Unsure how the whole bock-poking thing worked, we got some guidance from our friend DJ. DJ told us to first drink about a third of our bock beer. He then pulled a piping hot iron out of the fire pit and stuck it in our beers! Basically, chemistry happened next -- the heat of the poker caused the sugars in the beer to caramelize and froth, giving the beer a sweet, smooth head. You might think the beer gets hot, but it doesn't; because the poker just dunked in and out quickly, the beer itself remained cool, giving a nice contrast as we sipped the warm, frothy head with the chilled beer! It was pretty cool!

Here are some upcoming bockfest I found coming up at breweries in and around the listening area:

Saturday, March 7 -- Schell's Bock Fest 2020

Saturday, March 28 -- Spilled Grain Brewhouse's 5th Annual SGB Bock Fest

Saturday, May 30 -- 2020 Maibock Festival at Bad Habit Brewing

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