Halfway through writing an article in which I gripe about dark beers being ignored for another year, and it would seem Sprig + Fern have already heard me through the ether… One of the first new releases of the year (well actually late December but I’ll allow it) is Lock, Bock & Barrel, a traditional dark bock (6.4% ABV). Resplendently malty on the nose, with dark chocolate, freshly ground coffee and a gentle brush of black forest fruit and rosewater.  Unabashedly rich and full initially, the toffee malt sweetness slowly dries into a more biscuity and delicate finish with a tiny thread of smoke.  Despite the big ABV the body stays medium, with a gentle bitterness. Satisfying and moreish on its own, it’s also a style that makes for a great food beer.  Pair with cheese, rich red meats and anything with a good salt hit — from pretzels to perogies. 

Sprig Fern Lock Bock Barrel