|1950 National Premium|
Maryland used to be known as the "Land of gracious living", a tagline used extensively by National Premium brewing company. I remember when the National Premium brewery was still in operation down on Hollins Ferry Rd. It was always a treat to drive by an take in the heady smell of the grains being cooked into the wort. National Premium had 3 brand in order of quality, National Premium Beer, National Bohemian and Colt 45.
For anyone today Colt 45 is no stranger. It's ubiquitous use in the rap industry has earned it a place on the "do not drink" list, which since it's malt liquor I wouldnt' touch it anyhow. National Premium Beer dissapeared from the shelves after Carling bought them out in the 1980's. As far as I know, Carling still makes Colt 45 but the rights and recipes for National Premium and National Bohemian were solt to Pabst in the early 2000's and Pabst has been making National Bohemian for the Baltimore, Maryland market ever since.
National Bohemian (known affectionately as Natty Boh to Baltomoreans) was really a working mans beer back when I was a kid. We have pictures of my grandfather slipping me a sip of his Boh when I was 5 years old, used to drive mom crazy doing that but what fun. The Boh made by Pabst is a shadowy ghost of what Boh used to taste like. It's still cheap, but with that cheapness comes a distinct lack of taste. I don't know if my taste memory is screwed up over the years or what happened but we lose so much in the haste towards progress. Here in Jacksonville the local brand was always "Jax, The beer of friendship". It's another that has been lost to time although I know a local consortium of microbreweries was trying to get the factory up and running again, only time will tell if they are successful. As for National Premium, look for it's return soon in the Baltimore market as someone managed to get Pabst to give up the recipe and the rights.