While exploring the storage room during today’s object inventory I came across an object that naturally caught my eye. The object was a very old National Bohemian Beer can. After seeing it, I couldn’t just simply move on without finding out some more information about it. It turns out that National Bohemian sold beers in these cans in the 1930’s and into the 50’s. The can is unique because it has a cone shaped top and depicts an early version of “Mr. Boh” who is the trademark face of the company. The can was given to the museum by David Hoffberger son of Jerald Hoffberger. Jerald Hoffberger was a hometown businessman who owned both National Bohemian and the Baltimore Orioles.
National Bohemian, or just Natty Boh, was first brewed here in Baltimore in 1885, and the factory building still sits in Baltimore today, despite the company being owned by Pabst and brewed elsewhere. Natty Boh, since its existence, has been synonymous with Baltimore and a huge part of Baltimore culture. It became the official beer of Baltimore in the 1960s and was sold at Memorial Stadium where both the Colts and Orioles played before it was torn down. When the company merged and the factory was closed in the late 70’s, Natty Boh began to slowly lose some of its popularity and connection with Baltimore through the late 80’s and 90’s. For a while it was hard to find Natty Boh in stores across Maryland.
Recently however Natty Boh has experienced a huge resurgence and is retaking it’s thrown as the official Beer of Baltimore. In fact 90 percent of the beer sales come from the Baltimore and surrounding areas. In 2011, Natty Boh was served on tap for the first time in about 15 years. The beer is now served at Camden Yards and is the official beer sponsor and partner of the Orioles. Natty Boh has also revamped its style in many ways, some of which includes new boxes and cans, and on these new boxes and cans they have made Mr. Boh larger and more prominent than ever before. For Camden Yard’s 20 year anniversary, Natty Boh even released a special 16 oz. Camden Yards commemorative black and orange can that has become extremely popular at both the stadium and stores.. Many places have even cashed in by selling a wide array of Natty Boh merchandise. I think it’s is safe to say Natty Boh is back and better than ever and hopefully Mr. Boh is here to stay.