Beer comparison time! Enter two similar, but very different beers: Troegs Trogenator, and Yuengling’s Bock Beer.
Let’s start with Yuengling. Yuengling is still relatively new to the Ohio beer scene, and their lager rolled through the state with an almost legendary status. It is a good lager, but it is still just a lager. You can’t really dress it up more than that. What Yuengling does well though, is that it is a “gateway beer.” It is introducing the mindless Bud Light zombies of the world to real beer flavor. For that they deserve a tip of the hat. Anyway, on the popularity of their lager, Yuengling rolled out their first seasonal in this area, the Bock Beer.
First off, it has great packaging. Almost a retro feel to it, and of course, the image of a goat that has become synonymous with the style. The label is classy. Unfortunately with this one, that is all that is classy. This is by far, one of the worst beers that I have ever had. I would hardly call it a bock beer even. The beer pours like a nicer bock beer, but once the beer hits your taste buds it is all downhill from there. Not much on the sweet, malt flavor, but more on the bitter end. It has an almost bad lager taste, almost metallic, and finishes a little dry. Not a good representation of the style at all. For the oldest brewery here in the States, I expected a little more than this. This is now on my list of “Do not buy.”
Next up is a similar beer, in Trogenator. This beer is a classic. Granted, it is a little heavier on the alcohol, at 8.2% compared to 5%, but this beer makes Yuengling take a backseat. The beer, like Yuengling’s, pours like a bock should. The difference here is that the Troegs version has a more sticky head, that laces the glass nicely. For the taste, the sweet maltiness redeems any bad thoughts of the style from Yuengling, with even a touch of caramel. Well balanced, slightly sweet, with perfect carbonation, this beer is in my top five of all time. I will admit, it has lived on that list for some time now. When it comes to bock beers, you will be hard pressed to find a better representation of the style.
So there you have it, two bocks, two very different outcomes. For both beers coming out of the Keystone state, it is amazing at how different they really are. Sure you could argue that one is just a bock beer, and the other is a double bock, or that the higher alcohol content clouds your tasting vision, etc. But when it comes to flavor, and drinkability, Trogenator wins hands down. To me, it is worth the extra $3-4 for a six pack.