Gordon Biersch has come to Nebraska!

Sara and I ate at the Gordon Biersch brewery restaurant in Kansas City Saturday. It was kind of a letdown, because they didn’t have the Blonde Bock on tap.

Gordon Biersch was the first beer I loved. It’s a California microbrewery that I discovered when I lived in San Diego. I think it was recommended by someone who lived there. But I tried the Blonde Bock and realized that I could love a beer. This was news to me at the time.

Whenever I made a trip to California — with my friend Jeremy in 2003 and most recently in 2006 — I would buy about a half dozen six packs of Gordon Biersch Blonde Bock (and then maybe another of some other flavor to experiment) and stick them in my trunk and hurry home. I would be reluctant to drink any of them, because they were such a finite commodity in my fridge, so I wanted each consumption to be a special occasion. I usually saved them for holidays and stuff like that.

My most recent Blonde Bock was on tap at the Las Vegas restaurant in February 2007. I found out earlier this fall that Kansas City is now home to a GB restaurant, so I was excited to go there and drink a Blonde Bock this close to home. So we finally went Saturday and the Blonde Bock wasn’t on the menu. I asked the server if they had it, thinking maybe it was possible they changed the name. He claimed that Gordon Biersch has never had a blonde bock. I immediately hated him for being a stupid liar.

I got out my iPhone and got on gordonbiersch.com. I was worried they discontinued the Blonde Bock. Their website said they still serve it, so I emailed them, asking why the Kansas City restaurant didn’t have it. “It’s why we came here,” I said. I was saddened to see that, according to gordonbiersch.com, Ohio was the closest state that carried their beer in bottles — the only state they distribute to that’s not on the west coast.

So we were at Hy-Vee tonight, buying some beer, when Sara stopped me. “Neal,” she said, pointing at the cooler. There was a sick pack of Gordon Biersch Hefeweizen right in front of us. A high-school looking kid was beside us, stocking the cooler. I asked him, “Do you know if you’ll be carrying any other kinds of Gordon Biersch?” He gestured for me to turn around, and there was an entire display of stacks and stacks of Gordon Biersch six packs in boxes — the Golden Export, the Märzen, and in the beautiful blue box, there was the Blonde Bock.

I told him, “You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting for this. I used to make trips to California to stock up and I’d fill my trunk. I am so excited.” Sara thought I was going to hug him or cry or both. So we have our six packs in the fridge now, and I’m excited to try my first bottle of Gordon Biersch in years. It’s the first time I’ve purchased Gordon Biersch and then taken it home to drink that night since 2002.

As we drove home, I said to Sara, “I hope I still like it.”

UPDATE!! (Dec 31) Tom Dargen, Director of Brewing Operations with Gordon Biersch, responded to my email this morning. He informed me

We have dropped making Blonde Bock as a year round beer and instead make it occasionally as a seasonal beer that pops up occasionally. In spite of the passion that the people such as yourself have for the Blonde, it just is not that great of a seller compared to other styles, and we are leery of serving such a high alcohol beer that is so easy to drink.

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