Paperback’s Bocks

by Contributing Editor Eleanor

To join our fellow SCCB bloggers–BeachRock Bill and BrewHead Ted–in the exploration of German-inspired beers made popular at annual Oktoberfests, Chauncey and I headed over to Paperback Brewery in Glendale for their one-night-only Oktoberfest earlier this month. (See BeachRock Bill’s post “Oho! Oktoberfest!” for a quick history of this popular fall festival). The patio in front was packed, as were most of the tables inside, so we grabbed some stools at the bar and made ourselves comfortable.

Paperback’s Oktoberfest fare
Doctor Octobock on the left, with what appears to be a scar,
and Bock of Seagulls on the right

The board offered only two so-called “special”–or “seasonal”–brews, so we each ordered one, making the selection process fairly easy, except for the fact that all the other beers also looked tempting. (Who can resist a hazy called “Attack of the Space Cats,” or a red ale known as “Satan Wears Pajamas”?)

Chauncey got Doctor Octobock, a German winter lager heavy on the malt with a mild hop undertone. It had a delicate aroma and a full, round, spicy flavor. The crave factor was high.

Image from BrewHead Ted’s post, “The Bard and the Beer

My choice, Bock of Seagulls, a weizenbock, is a wheaty version of a bock, which turns out to be a cousin of the dunkelweizen. Many Americans might hear dunkelweizen and associate the word with donuts, though a salted pretzel would go better.

Chauncey and I couldn’t help but associate the beer’s name with a mixtape that BeachRock Bill once sent us–he was living in L.A. and we were in New York. Among the punk-New Wave hair bands featured on BRB’s tape were the Plimsouls, Missing Persons, and Flock of Seagulls. Their 1983 Grammy-winning instrumental “D.N.A.” would make a fitting soundtrack for Bock of Seagulls, which had a thin foamy head, lovely mango color, faint aroma, and a delicious hint of banana. Again, a high crave factor.

Though this is mainly a post about beer, I can’t not mention the yummy bratwurst that was prepared on the premises and came topped with a pepper and onion combo for only $5.

On the way back to our car, we spotted a nice ride that must belong to one of Paperback’s owners, or else a devoted fan of their beers.

A beautiful October evening in Los Angeles. We’ll be back for more!

— Cheers, Eleanor

3 thoughts on “Paperback’s Bocks

  1. Beach Rock Bill was a Flock of Seagulls fan??? I just can’t believe that. I just can’t. He’s never going to hear the end of this if it’s true. But it just can’t be so. BRB and the Plimsolls, OK. Dead Kennedys, well yea that rings true.


    1. Hey, Eleanor didn’t say BeachRock Bill was a FAN, just that he included FOS on a mixtape. He knew that Howard Stern and disco were our only radio choices in NYC back in the day. He wanted to let us know that in other places in the galaxy people were listening to other things.


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