Something for the Weekend: Hopslam and Natty Boh
There's been a lot of buzz lately about the release of Bell's Hopslam, the ridiculously hoppy ale that's just as ridiculously hard to find. If you haven't tried this year's batch, which seems more of a floral/fruity nose than in years past, make tracks for the Black Squirrel tonight; the two-story Adams Morgan bar will have both draft and bottled versions so you can see which format you prefer. Doors open at 5, and the taps will probably run out with a few hours.
On the other end of the spectrum from Hopslam, word reached Baltimore Magazine earlier this week that the iconic National Bohemian lager -- colloquially known as Natty Boh -- will be returning to Baltimore taps in early February after an absence of 15 years. Its arrival will be heralded by a series of tapping parties, starting February 3 at Nacho Mama's in Canton. (A full list of events is online at www.facebook.com/BohInBaltimore. I did a double-take at the Feb. 5 party, which will be held at the Brewer's Art, a brewpub known for its award-winning Belgian-style ales.)
At first, Natty Boh will only be available in Baltimore, Howard, Annapolis, Harford and Cecil counties, says Chris Hulton, the area manager for Pabst, which brews National Bohemian. Because of different licensing and distribution arrangements in Montgomery County and Washington D.C., Hulton expects that Mr. Boh won't start showing up near us until "early to mid-March."
Craft beer snobs may turn up their nose at Natty Boh, but it's a solid, easy-drinking beer that will be *perfect* for drinking on a patio once spring rolls around. (And, lest we forget, the Going Out Gurus once picked Natty Boh as the best cheap canned beer in a blind tasting.)
We'll have more information about Mr. Boh's Return as we get it.