The legend of how Eisbock was (accidently) discovered

The end of the 1800s, it's a cold winter evening at the Reichelbrau Brewery in Kulmbach, Bavaria. A young brewery worker is finishing a long hard day of shovelling spent grain, lugging barrels into storage and cleaning.

"Ah, Klaus. Hier bist du. Bring doch noch das letzte Fass Bock herein, bevor du nach Hause gehst!" ("Here you are. Please bring in that last barrel of bock before you leave!"), the head brewer says, turns around and hurries home.

Klaus huffs, shuffles down to the back door, opens it and shivers when the icy cold winter air hits him. There's the barrel. He gives it a little tilt. It's heavy and Klaus' arms are weak. "Nein, nicht heute Abend. Es wird dem Fass schon nicht schaden, wenn es eine Nacht draussen ist" ("No, not tonight. One night outside won't hurt the barrel.") He nods, having convinced himself, locks up and heads home.

The next morning, Klaus rushes to the brewery, planning to get the barrel safely inside before the brewmaster appears. Arriving at the brewery door, he skids to a halt and his stomach seizes. The cold night has frozen and expanded the barrel's contents, popping the head and cracking the stave joint. Trails of frozen liquid in the snow means he's in lots of trouble, surely.

The head brewer arrives and Klaus can see steam coming from his ears: "Was hast du getan? Bist du wirklich so faul?" ("What have you done? Are you really that lazy?") The brewmaster stomps inside, comes back with a hammer, chisel and a mug. He begins taking the barrel apart and scooping out a brown-coloured liquid from within the icy recess: "Hier! Trink das!" ("Here! Drink that!")

Klaus raises the mug, swallows and smacks his lips. A fiery sweetness slides across his tongue, magnified dark fruit and thick malt. The Eisbock was born. While the water froze, the alcohol, thankfully, remained, leaving behind a highly concentrated beer.

The above is our own imagined retelling of the tale of how Eisbock was (accidently) discovered. Is it a true story or not, we might never find out. All we know is, that we're bloody happy about Eisbock being in our lives today.

The legend of how Eisbock was (accidently) discovered
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