For their first release of 2017 the team at Rocks has dived about 500 years into the history books and emerged with Zoigl. So the (slightly truncated) story goes, when the citizens of medieval Franconia – now southern Germany – wanted to let thirsty passers-by know that they had beer ready for drinking, they’d hang a six pointed star outside their home. This symbol, similar in appearance to the Star of David, with two interlocking triangles representing the elements (water, fire and air) and beer’s known ingredients (barley, hops and water), effectively became the flashing neon light for drinkers of the day; the word “Zoigl” is, apparently, derived from the German word for “sign”.
The beers keeping the Zoigl name going are generally of the bottom fermenting kind – which shouldn't be a particular surprise, coming from that part of the world – and is no doubt why Rocks chose to make theirs a lager. But, for all the history, Rocks’ Zoigl is not some faithful recreation of an obscure ancient recipe. This is more about acknowledging the thread of history while focusing on the, “Hey, we’ve made beer – come over and have one” spirit of the Zoigl. And this is a beer of the sort you can imagine would down just as easily with a 16th century Franconian as it will with your average Alexandrian visiting the 21st century brewery; an easy drinking, golden coloured lager that has a touch of bready malt character and a little spiciness from the use of Hallertau hops. Like the home brewers of old who would hang out their starry signs for thirsty drinkers, Rocks’ Zoigl has been made to be friendly and welcoming – especially on these long, hot summer days.