Mar 10, 2023


I found this series of brewery ads from the late 1800s on the Library of Congress website while doing some research on a project unrelated to bock beer and goats. The LOC is like the tumblr rabbit hole of public domain materials; before you know it, hours are lost while searching the most random terms. 

As for why bock beer was once, or still is, synonymous with goats, allow me to lazily lift an explanation from the website of Anchor Brewing in San Francisco:

There’s a lot of lore surrounding bock beer. What is it? What’s up with the goat? How did it get its name? Is it really made from the residue at the bottom of the tank?

The beer we now know as bock originated in the Northern German city of Einbeck, probably as far back as the 1400s. By the 1600s it was being brewed in the Munich area of Southern Germany. The name “Einbeck” was pronounced as “Einbock” in the Bavarian accent of the region – and “einbock” means “billy goat” in German. Shortened to “bock,” the name remains with us today, as does the visual pun of the goat on the label.

Some of these are definitely destined to become wall art somewhere in my abode...bulbous, pendulum-like goat balls notwithstanding.