Steel Bender and NMDSBC team up to create Spring of Deception Maibock

Steel Bender’s Bob Haggerty, center, tells Erin and Franz Solo all about how to brew a proper maibock.

After six years, the Dark Side Brew Crew and Steel Bender have finally collaborated on a seasonal beer.

We woke up way too early (for me, anyway) Tuesday morning on a proper German weather day and trekked over to Los Ranchos to team up with director of brewing operations Bob Haggerty on creating the lightest (in color) beer that we have done with a brewery. Spring of Deception Maibock was born out of present and past discussions, partly from when Franz Solo worked part-time at Steel Bender prior to the pandemic.

Using an ample amount of New Mexico Genie Pilsner malt, plus some Vienna malt from Proximity, and just enough Magnum and Hersbrucker hops, we fired up the Steel Bender pilot system (“Amelia”) and got to work. Our day was not unlike home brewing on a larger scale using human power for stirring the mash, graining out, a bucket for vorlauf, and a copper rod with markings to determine appropriate volumes. What a lovely system to brew on it was. With Bob providing us with enough of a beer education to last a lifetime, succinctly and clearly explaining every step of the process, we got this lovely springtime helles bock going.

Unlike some past brews, we did not overfill the mash tun, nor clog the heat exchanger, nor anything else. It was a post-Festivus miracle! This brew should check in at a style-appropriate 7.5- to 8-percent ABV when all is said and done.

Light in color, but not in ABV.

The best news is this bock should be ready in five to six weeks, which puts it on target to debut at the Lagerhosen Festival scheduled for May 14 at Ex Novo. We will have a lot more details on that special event for lager lovers in the near future. We can say that the number of tickets will be very limited, so once they become available, do not hesitate.

Here are a few photos from the day. Expect more from Franz Solo and Erin on social media.

All the malts, and some rice hulls, that we needed.
Happiness is a hop addition. No, really, it’s a thing.
Happiness is also a Steel Bender (Impossible) Burger with way, way too many toppings.
Nothing quite as satisfying as watching the sight glass going from kettle to fermenter after a brew.

If anyone has any specific questions about the brewing process, send them over on social media or to and Franz Solo will do his best to answer you. I am not a morning person, so many of the details in my head have already evaporated. I thought I drank enough coffee, but alas, I did not.

Now back to dog sitting, and dreaming of future days with maibock in hand.


— Stoutmeister

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