Anchor, Bock US, 5.5 per cent, £2.55
The brewery traces its history back to the late 19th century. Anchor is renowned for its California Common, or Steam, beer as well as their Liberty Ale, and Porter, for decades now, and are considered the leading light of the rise in craft brewing throughout America.
The Bock beer, brewed for release each spring, is brewed to be darker, stronger, and more complex overall than their Steam beer, just as a traditional German Bock stands in relation to a Pilsner or Kolsch.
Pouring walnut with tobacco highlights, and a tight tan head, an aroma of banana, pear drops, and treacle rises from the glass.
The flavour is not as sweet as some Bocks I've had, it is still sweet, but this is a slightly drier, crisp affair, with a welcome ashy, roasted malt acidity cutting through the mix to break apart this rich toffee lager.
Chocolate raisins and cinder toffee are brought into relief by a subtle lemon sharpness and a spritzy carbonation, ending with a treacle-y, sweet and sour finish revealing a touch of black pepper and lemon-zest bitterness.
Recommended by Michael Bates, Trembling Madness, 48 Stonegate, York