By William Brand
Thursday, November 30th, 2006 at 6:14 pm in Uncategorized.
For me it was National Bohemian, made in Baltimore in the 1950s. When I was almost old enough to drink legally, I National Bo was the beer on tap at a tavern in Anacostia, Washington, D.C. where I lived. I stuck to that brand until I moved to the Midwest. Today, I realize, it was basically colored water with a bit of alcohol. But I still have fond memories of eating Hoagies – that is, a Philly cheesesteak on a Hoagie bun – at a place near the Anacostia River and sipping a National Bo.
So when a reader called me from Walnut Creek, looking for Old Style, a beer originally made by G. Heilman, LaCrosse, WI., I understood. Old Style, like National Bo, is/was pretty bland stuff. But she said she wanted a six-pack to give to someone on his 40th birthday. Old Style was his beer of choice back in Chicago.
Unfortunately, G. Heilman hit hard times, was bought by Stroh, which folded and Miller bought the brand. It still makes it and it’s sold around Chicago.
I called Archer Liquors, a place I heard about in Chicago that ships craft beer made in the Midwest, Sprechter, Goose Island, 3 Floyds and lots of Belgians.
The guy who answered the phone didn’t even laugh. But, he said, “it’ll cost her more to ship it – about $10 – than the beer’s worth.” We both laughed. He understoood.
I called my reader who was thrilled. Some guy’s gonna’ be getting a sixer of Old Style, whether he likes it or not.
Actually, I’d love to have a 10-ounce glass of National Bo in front of me tonight and one of those Hoagies and be 19-years-old again. That too.