I blog primarily over at "geosciblog" (http://geosciblog.blogspot.com), I am doing this one for fun. It is inspired by 30+ years of beer can collecting and having tried more than 3,000 different American beers during that time. “. . . And beer was drunk with reverence, as it ought to be.” — G. K. Chesterton

Friday, August 26, 2005

From The Land of Pleasant Living...

Just reminiscing about my favorite cheap beer...National Bohemian.

It was nothing special, just a good, clean tasting light lager beer from Baltimore. It may have been sold in Georgia for short time periods in the past, but I had to rely on infrequent trips to the Mid-Atlantic states or for visits from family or friends from that area to get a 12 pack or so.

The brewery in Baltimore closed a few years ago and production was shifted briefly to the Stroh's brewery at Lehigh Valley, PA. But it just didn't taste the same. I don't know if it is still being produced, if so, it is by Pabst through a contract with Miller. I believe that particular brewery in Lehigh Valley (originally built by Schaefer) is now owned by Guinness.

[Update: I found a blog dedicated to National Bohemian and life in Baltimore. And apparently Natty Boh is being brewed at Wilkes-Barre, PA by the Lion Brewing Co.]

Just what is a "Bohemian-style pilsener"? Among the American lagers previously identified as Bohemian Pilseners included Wiedemann (from Newport, KY), Stroh's, even Budweiser.

Bohemian-style pilseners are identified by Beer Advocate as Czech Pilseners and are described as:

"The birth of Pilsner beer can be traced back to its namesake, the ancient city of Plzen (or Pilsen) which is situated in the western half of the Czech Republic in what was once Czechoslovakia and previously part of the of Bohemian Kingdom. Pilsner beer was first brewed back in the 1840's when the citizens, brewers and maltsters of Plzen formed a brewer's guild and called it the People's Brewery of Pilsen.

The Czech Pilsner, or sometimes known as the Bohemian Pilsner, is light straw to golden color and crystal clear. Hops are very prevalent usually with a spicy bitterness and or a spicy floral flavor and aroma, notably one of the defining characteristics of the Saaz hop. Smooth and crisp with a clean malty palate, many are grassy. Some of the originals will show some archaic yeast characteristics similar to very mild buttery or fusel (rose like alcohol) flavors and aromas."

Some good examples of this style of beer identified by Beer Advocate include:

Pilsner Urquell, Czechvar, Staropramen Lager, all of these are imports. Most of the American versions, given good reviews by Beer Advocate writers, were from local microbreweries or brewpubs. Check it out and see if any are from your area.
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