Become A Brewing Expert!

Bock Vs Wheat Beer?


The world of beer is a vast and diverse landscape, with countless styles, flavors, and traditions to explore. Whether you’re a seasoned beer enthusiast or a curious newcomer, it’s always fascinating to discover the nuances that separate one type of beer from another. Today, we’ll be delving deep into the world of Bock and Wheat Beer, two distinct styles with rich histories and unique flavor profiles. So, grab a pint and let’s embark on this beer adventure together!

Bock vs Wheat Beer: Bock is a rich, malty lager originating from Germany, while Wheat Beer is a light, refreshing ale made with a high percentage of wheat in its grain bill.

History of Bock

Bock has a storied past, dating back to medieval Germany. Its origins can be traced to the town of Einbeck, which was a hub for brewing in the 14th century. As the beer gained popularity, it made its way to Munich, where it was adapted and refined by local brewers. The name “bock” is thought to be a corruption of the word “Einbeck,” with the style eventually becoming synonymous with strong, malty beers.

The first Bocks were brewed as hearty sustenance for monks during the fasting period of Lent. Over time, the style evolved into various subcategories, including Maibock (a lighter, hoppier version), Doppelbock (a stronger, more robust beer), and Eisbock (a concentrated, high-alcohol variant). Today, Bock beers can be found worldwide, with many breweries putting their own unique spin on this classic German style.

History of Wheat Beer

Wheat Beer, also known as Weissbier or Hefeweizen, has an equally rich history. The use of wheat in brewing dates back thousands of years, but it was in Bavaria, Germany, where Wheat Beer truly came into its own. In the 16th century, the Bavarian Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot) mandated that beer could only be brewed with barley, hops, and water. However, some breweries were granted special permission to continue using wheat, which allowed the style to survive and thrive.

The Hefeweizen we know today became popular in the 18th century, thanks to the efforts of Georg Schneider and his family, who founded the Schneider Weisse brewery. This iconic brewery played a pivotal role in preserving and promoting the Wheat Beer tradition, with their influence still evident in the German beer landscape today.

Ingredients and Brewing Process: Bock

Bock beers are brewed with a majority of barley malt, utilizing a variety of specialty malts to achieve their rich, complex flavor profile. The base malt is typically Munich or Vienna malt, which lends a toasty, bready character to the beer. Darker Bocks may also incorporate caramel or chocolate malts, contributing sweetness and color, while Maibocks often use lighter Pilsner malt for a brighter, crisper flavor.

The brewing process for Bock is characterized by a long, slow, and cool fermentation, which helps to create a clean, smooth lager profile. Lager yeast strains are used, often with an extended period of cold storage (or “lagering”) to further refine and mellow the flavors. Hops are generally used sparingly, with the focus on malt character rather than hop bitterness or aroma.

Ingredients and Brewing Process: Wheat Beer

Wheat Beer is defined by the use of a significant proportion of wheat in its grain bill, typically ranging from 40-70%. This high wheat content contributes to the beer’s light, fluffy mouthfeel and signature haze. Barley malt is also used, often in the form of Pilsner or Munich malt, to provide additional body and flavor.

The brewing process for Wheat Beer is similar to other ales but may include a step called a “protein rest” to help break down the high levels of protein in the wheat. This can improve the beer’s clarity and stability. The most important factor in Wheat Beer production, however, is the yeast. Specialized yeast strains are used to produce the signature fruity and spicy flavors associated with the style, often referred to as “esters” and “phenols.”

Flavor Profile: Bock

Bock beers are known for their rich, malt-forward flavor profile. Expect bold notes of toasted bread, caramel, toffee, and dark fruit, with a subtle sweetness balanced by a gentle hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is typically full and smooth, with a moderate alcohol warmth. Darker Bocks may also exhibit flavors of chocolate, raisins, or molasses, while Maibocks tend to be lighter and hoppier, with a more pronounced bitterness.

Flavor Profile: Wheat Beer

Wheat Beer is characterized by its refreshing, effervescent nature and distinctive flavors. The high wheat content lends a soft, creamy mouthfeel, with a slight tanginess and a hazy appearance. The yeast contributes prominent fruity and spicy notes, often described as banana, clove, or bubblegum. Hop flavors are typically low, allowing the wheat and yeast characteristics to shine through. Some Wheat Beers may also include additional ingredients such as fruit or spices, adding further complexity to the flavor profile.

Food Pairings: Bock

The rich, malty flavors of Bock beer make it an excellent companion for hearty, savory dishes. Pair it with roasted meats, such as pork or beef, to complement the beer’s caramel and toffee notes. Bock also works well with smoked or cured meats like sausages and ham, as well as rich, creamy cheeses. For dessert, try a Doppelbock with a chocolate cake or bread pudding to enhance the beer’s dark fruit and chocolate flavors.

Food Pairings: Wheat Beer

Wheat Beer’s light, effervescent character makes it a versatile pairing option for a wide range of dishes. Its fruity and spicy flavors work well with lighter fare such as salads, seafood, and poultry, while the beer’s acidity can help to cut through richer, creamier dishes like macaroni and cheese. Wheat Beer also pairs nicely with fruit-forward desserts and is a fantastic choice for brunch or a sunny afternoon picnic.


In conclusion, Bock and Wheat Beer are two distinct styles with unique histories, ingredients, and flavor profiles. Bock is a rich, malty lager originating from Germany, while Wheat Beer is a light, refreshing ale made with a high percentage of wheat in its grain bill. Here are 10 key facts about these two beer styles:

1. Bock has its roots in medieval Germany, while Wheat Beer has been brewed for thousands of years.
2. Bock is a lager, and Wheat Beer is an ale.
3. Bock is brewed primarily with barley malt, while Wheat Beer uses a significant proportion of wheat.
4. Bock is known for its rich, malt-forward flavors, while Wheat Beer is characterized by its fruity and spicy yeast-derived notes.
5. Bock typically has a higher alcohol content than Wheat Beer.
6. Bock has several subcategories, including Maibock, Doppelbock, and Eisbock.
7. Wheat Beer is also known as Weissbier or Hefeweizen.
8. Bock pairs well with hearty, savory dishes, while Wheat Beer is versatile and complements a wide range of foods.
9. Bock undergoes a long, slow, cool fermentation and lagering process.
10. Wheat Beer’s signature haze is a result of its high wheat content and specialized yeast strains.

Whether you prefer the malty depths of a Bock or the refreshing effervescence of a Wheat Beer, both styles offer a wealth of flavors and experiences for beer lovers to explore. Cheers!


Is bock beer a lager or ale?

Bock beer is a lager.

What is the difference between Bock beer and a lager?

Bock beer is a strong, malty beer traditionally brewed in Germany, while lager is a type of beer that undergoes a cold fermentation process and is typically lighter in color and flavor than bock beer.

What makes a beer a Bock?

A Bock is a strong, malty lager beer traditionally brewed in Germany. It is characterized by its deep amber to brown color, full-bodied flavor, and high alcohol content. Bocks are typically brewed using a special type of yeast and are lagered for an extended period of time to develop their unique flavor profile.

Is Shiner Bock a wheat beer?

No, Shiner Bock is not a wheat beer. It is a dark lager beer brewed with roasted malted barley.

Is bock a wheat beer?

No, bock is not a wheat beer. It is a strong lager beer traditionally brewed in Germany and is made with barley malt.

Is Bock a wheat beer?

No, Bock is not a wheat beer. Bock is a strong lager beer traditionally brewed in Germany, and it is typically made with malted barley.

About the author

Previous post :

Latest posts