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Amazingly, both these brews can still be found, though we had to go into a rather slummy part of Washington, DC to acquire them. We had figured that Pabst (PBR) would be a passable brew. National Bohemian, on the other hand, well, let’s just say that the packaging didn’t inspire confidence. The can features a one-eyed cartoon character with an enormous black mustache and the hair of an 1890s Wild West saloon-keeper. Cursive writing exclaims the brew to come from “The land of pleasant living.” Apparently, the maker of this beer, with good cause, fired the marketing team in the early 1950s.

Anyhoo, our estimation was off. PBR was rather gritty and was palatable only when bone cold. Otherwise, with each sip, we found ourselves sticking out or tongues and rubbing them against the roofs of our mouths. (Rating **)

National Bohemian, on the other hand, was decent. It was a simple American lager with no outstandingly bad notes (or good ones, for that matter); and, critically, it did not become foul when it warmed (as so many cheap beers do). Is National Bohemian a high quality beer? No, but for a few bucks for a six pack, it proved enjoyable on a hot day. (Rating ***) Those who want to read about National Bohemian might wish to check out this Natty Boh lover’s page For a more concise history of National Bohemian beer, see


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