Sampling Bohemia Clásica beer

I'm featuring this beer because it was offered to me to discuss by Bohemia's PR folks. So I'm not calling this a beer review, but a discussion. Thus the Beeronaut preserves his tattered integrity and gets to stick to the main tenet of beer geekery: never turn down a free beer.

Bohemia is an established brand, having been registered as a trademark in 1905 in Mexico, and not to be confused with National Bohemian, once brewed in Maryland. It's currently owned by FEMSA, a Latin American conglomerate that last year was folded into Heineken. There's a long thread of German influence in Mexican culture that I discuss a bit in the video, suffice to say it’s why there are old Mexican brands with names like Bohemia, Kaiser, Hochster, Kloster and Bavaria among the Dos Equis, Tecates and Coronas.

First off, we have a brown bottle, that shows the brewer demonstrates some concern for packaging. The clear bottles Corona and all its imitators use lets light "skunk" up the beer, meaning that slice of lime can only make it taste less nasty. Brown bottles keep light out, especially the most harmful UV light.

This is a pale lager, which pours a bright yellow in the glass, with lots of bubbles kicking into a big white head. Smell does show a little corn adjunct fronting a basic light beery smell.

The first sip brings in that adjunct taste, but it's light enough so that the average drinker just might not care. Yet, I also get a slight note of caramel, as if there is a touch of Vienna roast malt there, just not enough to tinge the color. This an easy drinking summer beer, as one would want, at 5.3% alcohol by volume. As I work my way down to the bottom, there is a build-up of sharp bittering hops. With my glass empty, I get some stickiness on my lips. so the malt is there after all. No lite beer this, it will fill you.  A good one for those few warm football weekends remaining.

Bohemia has been popular in Mexico and among Mexican populations in America, but a little less popular than other brands in the rest of the country. This sampling was part of a new push by its PR firm to build some word of mouth. They’ve recently begun a campaign tying the brand in with one of Mexico’s favorite artists, Frida Kahlo. There are photographs with bottles of Bohemia at the Kahlo family dining table, and this is being done with the cooperation of her estate. So it’s a more likely tie-in than the commercials pretending John Wayne loved Coors Light.

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    Mark McDermott

    Writer, trivia maven, fan of many things. I thought to learn all there is to know about beer as a way to stay interested in learning. It is my pleasure to bring Chicago's craft beer scene to you.

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