Billy Goats in Paper Planes

by Jim Lundstrom


From The Fermentorium of Cedarburg, Wis., comes Paper Planes, apparently their first anniversary beer, a 6.6 percent bock beer brewed with wild rice. 

Paper, the label tells me, is a first anniversary gift. The label also tells us that “Paper Planes” is the tasting room manager’s favorite song. Oh, dammit, do I really have to look that up? I know I’m going to hate what I find. 

Are they referring to the 2007 release by British rapper M.I.A.? Or the 2008 song by the Swedish band I’m from Barcelona? Or is the tasting room manger a classic rock fan referring to the 1972 Status Quo release? Or is it the 2017 release by Aussie Hoseah Partcsh? 

Actually, I don’t give a rip what the tasting manager’s favorite song is.

Who in the world has a favorite song with so many to choose from? 
In fact, let’s get bock to this tasty lager. 

Back before the craft beer evolution/revolution, Bock was an eagerly anticipated spring release. All the regional breweries had a version – Leinenkugel’s, Point, Huber, etc. 

Originally this malty beer came from the German city of Einbeck, but when it made its way to Munich brewers, it was pronounced “einbock,” which, I am told, means billy goat, so nearly all the regional American brewers featured a goat on the label. 
Paper Planes has that malty bock richness with just a hint of something I can’t identify and so must assume it is the wild rice. 

The Fermentorium’s web page tells me they have been in operation since early 2016, so Paper Planes must have been last year’s anniversary release. 

No matter. It is very bocky and I was happy to be reminded of the good old days when we pined for the spring bock releases. What a far cry from today, when I pine for the most exotic brews I can find, which makes me think that sometimes we try too hard to get away from what worked. 

Or am I just spinning?