National Bohemian: the beer that lubricates Baltimore

People in Baltimore will not stfu about this Natty Bo. Before I came here I figured it was some Coors variant I had never encountered, Natural Light Bohemian aged in an Anthropologie store on vision boards. This beer goes back to post-Prohibition which means it’s an adjunct lager riding a colossal wave of nostalgia feels like the Ready Player One of bottom fermenters. No one could explain to me why the mascot only has one eye but given the rowdy Baltimore population I feel like self harm is attendant to natty BO sessions. The taste is firmly within experiences you have had many times before the nose and swallow is almost part and parcel identical to Miller Lite but the taste itself and mildly ritz meets change jar execution screams PBR. This makes sense as all of these Bo’s are made by Pabst in Milwaukee a thousand miles away, but 85% of these Nat King Bo’s is consumed in Baltimore. It is forced economics in a crazy way. Plus Pabst re-upped their contentious contract with Miller in 2014 so all the pieces slide together. This is a contextual experience that has buttressed many teenage pregnancies and Orioles public urination charges, and that’s fun. It’s an ambient beer to fill the crushing silence of Baltimore’s rain and the constant barrage of The Wire references. Growing up in Fresno, I know about a 650k city with no public transportation, unpleasant weather, crime, geographic self loathing, and being at odds with other more salacious cities, so Baltimore speaks to me on a fundamental level. Natty Bo is for my populace. The type who make their own fun like “Drinking Mario Party” and let the beer take a back seat. At least it isn’t @duclawbrewingco so thank god for that.

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