Goats and beer and spring and bock. Why and how they all fit together
This Saturday, Ma-a-a-ay 14th, Goatfest returns to Varietal Beer Company in Sunnyside, Wa-a-a-ashington. The event is a celebration of spring as expressed through one particular beer style: bock. It’s a ticketed event but they expect to have tickets at the door. Keep an eye on Varietal Beer Co’s social channels to stay informed.
Why bock? Bock is a rich and malty, German-style lager. Historically, bock or bockbier, was a celebration beer brewed in the winter for consumption in the spring, often during Lent or at Easter. While it is often brewed year-round these days, it is still generally associated with spring. Rites of spring, fertility, rebirth, and all that jazz.
Why goats? For centuries bock has been associated with goats. The German word for goat is bock. So there’s that. Why name this style of beer after goats? Nobody is quite sure but some suggest that it may be related to a muddled translation of the word Einbeck, which is a town in Germany.
Einbeck is home to Einbecker Brauhaus, a 700-year-old brewery that is noted for producing a style of beer that became known as bock. Einbecker Ur-Bock lager is often considered the quintessential beer of this style — the original bock. Einbeck? Einbock? Ein bock = “a goat.” It could have just been a matter of pronunciation. It’s kind of a chicken-or-egg thing.
Whatever the case. Bock. Goats. Beer. Spring. Festival. Each year, Varietal Beer Company invites selected breweries to participate. They invite breweries that are known to produce good bock-style beers, or at the very least produce excellent lagers.
Here’s the announcement about Goatfest from Varietal Beer Co.
GOATFEST returns to Sunnyside, Washington at Varietal Beer Company on Saturday, May 14th! It’s been a long time since the last festival in 2019, but we’re making it bigger and better than before with bock styles from some of our favorite PNW breweries:
Grains of Wrath
So what happens at Goat Fest?
- Food service will be provided by our friends at Triple C’s (@chriscookscarne) & Cascade Crust (@casecadecrust) until they run out.
- In the evening we’ll have The Shivering Denizens playing in the beer garden with their rockabilly bluegrass, country punk style!
- During this event, the brewery will be closed to the public, with only ticketholders allowed into the brewery & beer garden.
- Tickets will be available for sale at the door though, for anyone who didn’t purchase in advance, though we may run out of custom mugs by that time.
- Non-drinkers (designated drivers, or companions of ticketholders), dogs on leashes & well-behaved children are welcome without tickets but must be present with a ticketholder.
For more beer-related events around Washington, check out the Washington Beer Blog’s events page.