As much as it is sad to talk about the impending closure of Dogfish Head Miami, today we should talk about Richard Buckminster Fuller.
Better known as R. Buckminster Fuller, he was an architect, writer, designer, futurist, and much more.
You may not know it, but he was responsible for writing a book that promoted a very famous and long-lasting phrase for describing our planet, a phrase that gave one of Florida’s most famous structures its name: Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth.
Basically, that book’s premise is there are only a finite amount of resources on this planet and if left unchecked, those resources will run out.
The interesting thing is one of Buckminster Fuller’s claims to fame was his design and promotion of the geodesic dome and sphere, one of the most perfect examples of which is said building in Lake Buena Vista.
He was incredibly influential and a visionary for his time, whether you may know the name or not.
It was fitting and very welcomed that Dogfish Head Miami decided to take his legacy and skew it ever so slightly for the release of Bockminster Flurry (Maibock, 7.2% ABV).
You can see Buckminster Fuller’s inspiration even in the can art, as the trademark geodesic figure lurks in the background.
I also wish that I had anticipated this beer a little bit more, since it’s a favorite style of mine that I very rarely see. It’s usually known as a Maibock, but this is the first time I’ve seen it described as a Helles Bock, which I think is a slightly more fitting description of the beer.
Basically put, bock is German for dark, and bock beers are generally dark lagers. A little bit lighter in weight and flavor than, say, a stout, but still definitely heavier than most other lagers.
The Helles Lager is a light, crisp, fruity beer with a pronounced sweetness and almost no hop bitterness to mention.
This beer marries both of those worlds. It’s got the color and a lot of the flavors of a Helles, but with the ABV and weight of a Bock. And that’s what you get, it’s got that Helles orange color with the interesting heightened sweetness of malt and a touch of citrus.
What makes a beer so amazing is the bock flavors of the beer, the result of two adjuncts they put in there. One of them is sapodilla, otherwise known as sapote, etc. This is a fruit tree native to Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico. The flavor of this particular fruit is very much like brown sugar, sweet potato, along those lines.
The second is adjunct is Panella sugar, which is a hard, very unrefined sugar made from the initial boiling of sugarcane. Think brown sugar, but even less processing. It’s usually sold in Hispanic grocery stores in large, solid bricks.
Those two bring a lot of the dark, heavy flavors of a bock beer into this particular Helles Bock without resorting to traditional malt. As a result, the flavor is deep and is foreboding. It is a fantastic brew, something that I would love to see again.
It hits all the right notes with both of those styles and adds just a little bit of South Florida flair to give it something brand new.
Unfortunately this beer, much like the brewery from which it came, is destined to be history very shortly. This makes me sad, but we can at least appreciate what is there now.
And just like R. Buckminster Fuller, look to the future for inspiration.
Drink Florida Craft,
Florida Beer Blog is a part of Florida Beer Media. Find us at FloridaBeerMedia.com.
Listen to the Florida Beer Podcast – Powered by Florida Beer Blog on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and more!