Bock, one of the most traditional of German beer styles, is now officially in season. The season starts with the release of the Doppelbocks (the strongest ones are released first while the weather is coldest) on St. Joseph's Day, March 19. By the time we get to May, the Maibocks are released, which are considerably more pale, with less alcohol, and possibly more aromatic hop character, as befits the warming weather.
Here's a link to the Doppelbock page at the German Beer Institute's American web portal:
I had no idea of the story behind the "special dispensation" the Paulaner monks of Munich were given by Rome to brew during lent!
For a domestic brew, now available is the Spring seasonal Bock beer from Anchor Brewing in San Francisco. It is a nice example of an American-style Bock, with a good rich chocolatey malt character and a lager smoothness, better than I remember it from previous years (it's been brewed since 2005).