Monday, July 19, 2010

Love Affair: National Bohemian

Those who know me best can attest to the fact that I am a connoisseur of many things most people would consider lowbrow. Not to say that I don’t enjoy the occasional symphony, classic book, or legitimate theatre (thee-ay-terr), but I seem to be drawn toward things most people grow out or move past. Usually, this obsession of mine is easy to hide from others—my comic books are neatly organized and stowed away in boxes, I listen to punk and hardcore music at a reasonable volume on the subway, and I watch MST3K reruns hidden away in my apartment, far after my fiancĂ©e goes to sleep. I say the obsession is usually hidden because there is one aspect that can be hard to hide during social events, and that is my love… of shitty beer.

I love shitty beer. It’s cheap. It does the job. And on occasion, when you find a shitty beer that actually tastes good, you strike gold my friend. Hold on to that beer and don’t let go. I should probably clarify that I’m not talking about Natural Light, Busch, or any of the other frat-beers, although they have their time and place. I’m talking about smaller, regionally restricted beers. Pabst is probably the most notable, but there are others, such as Narragansett, Lone Star, Iron City, Leinenkugel, Stroh’s, and the list is endless. Most of these “regional” beers have been picked up by larger breweries, but the fun lies in their exclusivity. You actually need to travel to each beer’s home to enjoy the carbonated goodness.

Speaking of home, let me tell you of my personal favorite shitty beer, National Bohemian, or Natty Boh as those in-the-know call it. Natty Boh is the hometown pride of Baltimore, although it can be found ranging between Virginia and Pennsylvania. I believe it is now brewed by Pabst, but all native Baltimorons know and love the sight of the winking mustachioed logo. It’s a true source of Baltimore pride. I’m not sure if it still costs $5 for a twelve pack, but every time I’m back home I order up a bottle in a bar, or stock up for the trip back home. If properly chilled, the beer is a perfect accent to a hot day. Some people may say that the beer tastes like swill, but I abjectly disagree. Personally, I find the taste light with a sweet after-taste. It may depend on the eye of the beholder, but if I could find a direct source in NY, we might perpetually have a Natty Boh keg on tap in my future home.

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