The 1st Place prize pint glass from the 1996 California State Fair entry.

The 1st Place prize pint glass from the 1996 California State Fair entry.

May 1st marks the beginning of a wonderful month in beer history–the kickoff of Maibock season. This strong golden lager style has its roots with Bavarian monks in the 14th century. Maibock, literally translated to “May bock,” is traditionally associated with the arrival of spring.

It was just twenty one short years ago when co-founder Nico Freccia was living a simple life in his San Francisco apartment, whipping up homebrew batches on the weekends and experimenting with new recipes. He was feeling pretty proud of a decent little maibock beer he had recently brewed, which he decided to enter in the 1996 California State Fair. In what is likely his proudest homebrew moment, the beer won a 1st place prize (and a stellar blue pint glass trophy). This year, Nico knew it was time to revive that winning beer for another shot at glory.

Nico and 21st Amendment Senior Brewer, Jaron Shepherd, penciled in a brew date at our San Francisco pub and the stage was set. Nico wrote out a “to do” item on his list: find Maibock recipe. As the brew date approached, Nico went to find the homebrew journal where the recipe lived.

The only problem was, the journal was nowhere to be found!

After turning his entire house upside-down, a dejected Nico took to a Google search to see if he could piece together a recipe for his 1st place beer. Luckily for him, he wasn’t only homebrewing in 1996. He was also moonlighting as a writer for the Celebrator Beer News. That quick Google search turned up the EXACT recipe for the maibock, linking back to an article he had published 21 years prior.

Needless to say, Nico & Jaron are excited to offer our Gold Medal Maibock, now on tap at our San Francisco pub and San Leandro tap room.

And for you homebrewers out there, here’s your chance to recreate your own version of Nico’s original recipe. Here’s to Spring!


Nico Freccia Gold Medal Maibock

Nico “getting his hands dirty” on brew day.

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