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Friday, December 4, 2009
We're proud to support the Utah Avalanche Center. We a part of the 2nd annual Brewski event at Canyon Sports in Cottonwood.
When it comes to backcountry safety, knowledge is life. The Utah Avalanche Center is dedicated to avalanche forecasting, safety and education so that everyone can enjoy Utah’s backcountry playgrounds safely. But we need your help! Government funding only covers part of our costs. Donations from users like you are needed to pay for the rest. Please consider making a donation to your community avalanche center.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Interview with Bohemian Brewery
Salt Lake City, Utah
Conducted By: CampusCrew (Now Beer Junto) of The Beer In Me
Interview With: Joseph and Peter Petras -
Owners of Bohemian Brewery
Date: September 2009
I just recently returned from a wonderful trip in Salt Lake City. One of the highlights of my trip was touring the Bohemian Brewery and Grill. Located at 94 East 7200 South Salt Lake City, Utah, 84047 it is just 10 minutes south of the city center. Well worth the visit for a great meal and perfectly crafted lagers. The city is still hampered by conservative 4.0 ABV laws, but that doesn’t seem to affect Bohemian Brewery since most of their flagship beers are close to that percentage under normal brewing guidelines. They serve 4 main selections on draft, which includes a classic Czech pilsner, a nicely hopped Vienna lager, a super light wheat lager, and a rich black bock called Cherny Bock. Cherny is the Czech word for Black and is often used when describing dark beers.
I decided to do an interview with Bohemian Brewery since I was a resident of Prague a few years ago. In my opinion, their Czech Pilsner was their nicest beer. It truly brought me back to Prague with very memorable flavors. It’s hard to find a great Pilsner in the US that is fresh and made properly. Bohemian Brewery focuses on the quality of their ingredients and adheres to Rheinheitsgebot, which are strict German Purity laws.
If you get the chance to visit the great city of Salt Lake, I would highly recommend visiting the Bohemian Brewery. Not only do they brew nearly perfect sessionable lagers, their Czech/German/American fusion pub fare is probably what sets them apart from other brewpubs around the country. From fresh garlic burgers and fries to crispy schnitzel and pierogies. The Bohemian Brewery is one of the finest I have ever been too.
1. CampusCrew - When did you open Bohemian Brewery and what inspired you to open the brewery?
Bohemian - December 2001. We love beer and wanted to share our Czech heritage with everyone.
2. CampusCrew - Who are the owners and brewers of the operation and what is your favorite beer that you brew?
Bohemian - Joseph, Peter and Helen Petras are the owners. It’s a true family affair. We are 100% locally owned and run.
Joseph – Czech Pilsner
Pete – Cherny Bock
Helen – Viennese Lager
Owners of Bohemian Brewery
Bobby Jackson is the head brewer and prefers the Cherny Bock. The other brewers are Kyle Schwenk who doesn’t have a favorite and Tyson Addy who also prefers the Cherny Bock
3. CampusCrew - What was the first beer that was brewed?
Bohemian - Our Czech Pilsner crafted after the original from Pilzn, Czech
4. CampusCrew - Tell me about the other beers that are brewed here?
Bohemian - The Viennese is a märzen/oktoberfest. It has a deep orange color and a predominant but slight bitterness. The cherny is a german black lager (schwarzbier) that pours almost black in color with a resilient tan head. It also has an underlying delicate bitterness and, its light body makes it a great beer for any occasion. The Bavarian weiss is a wheat lager made up of pilsner malt and pale wheat malt. Fermented with a lager strain it holds no banana/clove/ester flavors or aromas that people generally associate with a wheat beer. This makes it a great summer or session beer. When served with a slice of citrus fruit the flavors of the malts become much more pronounced.
5. CampusCrew - You seem to follow the German purity brewing laws. What are some of the challenges to following strict guidelines when brewing beer?
Bohemian - Brewing our beers to Rheinheitsgebot is not as challenging as it may seem. Of course we do not fall exactly into the guidelines that were set in 1516, but we do adhere to what the laws currently say. Originally beer couldn’t contain wheat, only barley, yeast, water and hops, to help keep bread prices down as well as keep beers from being brewed elsewhere. They have been adapted over the years to accept certain ingredients that have been developed such as kettle finings and other items more commonly found in beer.
6. CampusCrew - Tell me about what ingredients you use to make your beers and why you think quality ingredients are important?
Bohemian - We use Canadian 2-row pilsner malt as our base malt. All of our specialty malts are made by Weyermann Malt in Bamberg, Germany. On top of that, all of our hops are European varieties, mostly noble hops that help us achieve our signature bitterness and aroma. Quality ingredients are important simply because they are the first step in creating a quality product. We expect the best quality ingredients from our suppliers so we can guarantee our customers the best possible product.
7. CampusCrew - What is something you do different here that your competitors don’t when it comes to brewing?
Bohemian - All of our beers are brewed using a double decoction mash, which has become less common due to advances in brewing technology. Also, we have a 1:45 minute boil which is generally longer than most places.
8. CampusCrew - Brewing craft beer in cans seems to becoming popular again. Why did you decide to do so?
Bohemian - Cans are a superior package for beer. They offer 100% UV light blockage, which is one of the main beer spoilers, as opposed to bottles, which let through some amount of light no matter the color. Also, here in Utah, outdoor activities are extremely popular. Cans pack better for trips and also collapse when empty to pack out. In all, they are better for the product, the environment, as well as a large part of the Utah beer drinking demographic.
9. CampusCrew - What are some of you favorite beers other than what you make that may have inspired you?
Bohemian - I have always been partial to Vermont beers. Rock Art Brewery in Morrisville, Vermont makes a great barleywine style ale as well as what they call an ESB cubed ale.
10. CampusCrew - What are some new beer possibilities in the future?
Bohemian - It’s really hard to say. In the past we have done some different pilsner recipes utilizing new ingredients that have come out as well as a chocolate schwarzbier, which was quite popular. We try to stay within the constraints of only lager beers so that limits what we may be able to brew.
11. CampusCrew - How do you see Bohemian Brewery growing in the next 10-20 years?
Bohemian - We’re very humble and modest. We brew beers based on customer demand to ensure freshness. We’ve run out of beer because we don’t cut corners. This is the main reason for our expansion. Since we brew lagers, the beers take longer to ferment. We refuse to cut corners on this and create a lesser beer. Our immediate growth is doubling our capacity. 5 years out…. Double that. 10 or 20 years… it’s too early to tell. Again… we want to be humble here.
Thank you again Bohemian Brewery. I truly enjoyed my visit and tour through your brewery and I wish you good luck in the future. - CampusCrew
94 East 7200 South
Salt Lake City, Utah, 84047
Phone: (801) 566-5474
Thursday, October 22, 2009
We were on the air in Reno with Mark Keefe from The X (100.1 fm). We came to town to participate in the worlds first ever Canned Beer Festival. We had a chance to get on the air with Doug from Buckbean Brewing and the guys from 21st Amendment to talk about our beers, sample them and speak about the event that night night. It was a great time pairing beers with music. Fun was had by all. Thanks guys! It was a blast.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Being at the GABF is a great experience. We get to not only catch up with brewers we haven't seen all year but also meet new faces in the brewing industry. We get to share stories and learn from each other. Plus we get to drink beer for 4 days straight. Here's one of the perks. Our photo on the cover of DRAFT Magazine from the DRAFT booth. See you guys next year!
Friday, September 25, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Bohemian Brewery: Bobby Jackson
by Tyler Makmell [email@example.com]
Bobby Jackson made his way to Salt Lake City from Vermont in September of 2007. Since then, the 23-year-old landed a spot as Head Brewer of the Bohemian Brewery and scored the brewery a silver medal for their Cherny Bock at the 2008 Great American Beer Festival in the German-style Schwarzbier category. Jackson is quickly making a name for himself and the brewery. He’s highly regarded by Salt Lake City’s craft beer drinking scene as one of the best brewers of lagers.
Head brewer of Bohemian Brewery, Bobby Jackson is only 23 years old, making him the youngest head brewer in the state.
Photo: Adam Dorobiala
SLUG: Right off the bat, what’s it like to be not only the youngest brewer in the state, but the youngest head brewer in the state?
Jackson: People will start talking about beer and brewing, and the first question is always, are you even old enough to drink?
SLUG: How did you make your way into the brewing industry?
Jackson: I went to the University of Vermont and pretty much spent the majority of my time there homebrewing. I had been looking into brewing education, and it just happened that The American Brewers Guild was re-filming their DVD, so they were doing a residential program the summer after I had graduated. That was all followed up by a five week apprenticeship at Otter Creek.
SLUG: A lot of people know what their first beer was, but what was your first “real” (micro brewed) beer?
Jackson: It was probably 11th grade. Someone’s parents always had Redhook ESB around—it was rich people beer. But when you are that age, beer is beer. I was typically drinking a lot of Pabst and Keystone Light.
SLUG: Only brewing four beers must be rough on stretching your creative abilities. Have you ever wanted to do more?
Jackson: Definitely—every now and then I get a little antsy. I did release the Chocolate Cherny last winter, and then brewed the floor-malted pilsner recently. Only getting to do them now and then makes them so much sweeter. It also helps me focus on the four beers that we have on hand and keeping them consistent and making them the best beers they can be. That way I never can say, “I wish that I could have done this or that differently.”
SLUG: How would you describe your experience in dealing with Utah’s legislature?
Jackson: It’s not so much “dealing” with the legislature, it’s more trying to understand them. It’s so backwards. All this new stuff with private clubs doesn’t affect me, since I only go to one bar [The Hog Wallow].
SLUG: Would you rather be brewing in any other state?
Jackson: Every day that I am in Utah it just becomes a radder and radder place. I know everyone that brews in this state, it’s a tight knit community. Today I talked to Kevin Templin (Red Rock), Chris Haas (Desert Edge), and Kevin Ely (Uinta). There isn’t that air of competition—we are all in it for the same purpose.
SLUG: The majority of beer drinkers in this state bitch about the alcohol volume in their beer. Does that bother you as a brewer?
Jackson: Not really. We brew all lagers, so we are maybe a half of a percentile off of the style. When it does come time and the law gets passed, and I am sure it will, we will probably add that half of a percent.
SLUG: How is this recession affecting you?
Jackson: I am in a recession resistant line of work. I don’t have a car payment, I don’t own a home, and I don’t have a stock portfolio. My biggest gripe about the recession is fucking hearing about it.
SLUG: A lot of the local breweries are getting in on this high-point trend. Can we expect the Bohemian to jump on this wagon?
Jackson: It gets tossed around occasionally, but it’s mostly at 11:30 at night with me and Joe Petras [owner of the Bohemian] at the bar. We have talked about maybe making the Cherny a little bit higher and bottling it, but it is competing with so many other things that we are doing right now.
SLUG: Is there anything that Bohemian drinkers of Utah should look out for?
Jackson: Hopefully by the end of the summer we will be releasing the Vienna in a can, and around Christmas-time, the Cherny Bock. Very informally, expect mixed packs shortly thereafter.
SLUG: A head brewer is only as good as his team, wanna mention them?
Jackson: We are down to two now, it’s just Kyle Schwenk and I. I hired him out of Illinois about six to seven months ago and he’s been kickin’ ass here.
SLUG: Getting your Brew-Chi is very important, what music can we expect to hear blasting out of the brewery?
Jackson: Oh Jesus, I listen to a lot of Tom Waits, Jenny Lewis, Modest Mouse, Location Location, shit, everything. Kyle likes The Grateful Dead, but we mostly will be rockin’ KRCL. I used to leave the music on for the beer, like the baby in the womb, but it always seems to get shut off.
SLUG: Finally, it’s the night capper. You are sitting at the bar, about to leave the brewery, what’s in your glass?
Jackson: The Cherny.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
While Utah Beer is snatching up awards in blind taste test competitions all around the country, critics still claim Utah's beers are "watered down" due to alcohol restrictions.
According to the Brewers Association, Utah is ranked 23rd in the U.S for breweries per capita. Yet a list of the top 50 breweries released last month didn't include a single Utah brewery. This doesn't make much sense considering Utah's breweries proven 10 year track record in taking national awards. Judged by the awards alone Utah should be seen as a true beervana,liquor laws and 3.2 alcohol restriction reputation cause critics to have little faith.
In recent years Utah micro-brews have dominated in competitions (View the NABA award list here). Utah brews such as Bohemian Brewery's Cherny Boch and Czech Pilsner, Red Rock's Polygamy Porter and Bobsled Brown plus Squatter's IPA India Pale Ale are among only a few of Utah's award-winning brews.
How have Utah's beers become so great? It turns out one side-effect of residing in a state that is shunned by the larger beer community is the brewers of Utah have banned together to actually help each other improve. "We all get together at least once a month. We share receipes and ideas. We all hang out together at the conventions. We are all good friends, " said Bobby Jackson of Bohemian Brewery.
Still, despite the awards, out-of-state beer enthusiasts love to label Utah brews as "weak," "watered down," or "flavorless." On the popular website Beer Advocate, users are able to share news and reviews about the latest brews. Here's what a few bloggers said about Uinta's King Peaks Porter:
Hops are slightly bitter. Kind of thin tasting. Mouthfeel is a little thin. Finish is clean and crisp. Aftertaste is bitter coffee and a hint metallic.
As with many of these 4% Utah beers, I feel this is a bit over-carbonated. Not bad...I'll drink it. But it's not worth spending a night on.
King's Peak Porter --the same beer that is being bashed in the comments above-- actually won a gold medal in the black beer section of the North American Brewer's Association (NABA) blind taste test competition. Local brewers say the negative conclusions about Utah beer are made out of ignorance and not experience.
Jeff Fischer was a former brewer for Bohemian Brewery and now distributes ingredients to all the local brew pubs for Crosby and Baker Ltd. From the way Fischer can put down a Bohemian Cherny Boch stein in about 90 seconds-- all while describing it's unique characteristics-- he is an obvious Utah beer connoisseur. Fischer just happened to be around for our taping of Bohemian Brewerie's segment.
"They just don't know. It's a misconception," said Fischer "I've literally given Utah beer to people, and if you don't tell them that it's from Utah. They love it. They think it's a wonderful beer."
It's no news flash that the out-of-state misconceptions about Utah beer has to do with the state's dominant Mormon culture (which forbids drinking), and Utah's strict liquor laws. Currently, Utah draft beers are restricted to 3.2 percent alcohol by weight or 4 percent by volume. Utah is only one of four states that require beer to be brewed at these alcohol levels (Oklahoma, Colorado and Kansas are the others).
But a Deseret News article shows that the weakness of Utah beer is greatly exaggerated. Staff Writer Josh Loftin discovered that most big beer names such as Guinness, Budweiser, Coors and Miller brew their beers at levels that are just barely above the 3.2 mark. (Read full article here)
3.2 may be the lowest level in the nation, but it's not as absurd as most critics think. "If you look around the world, places like Germany, Czech Republic or England, which are the three big beer consumers, most of their beer is brewed between 3.5 and 4.5 percent," said Fischer
Many local brewers believe that the liquor laws force them for focus more on flavor, rather than relying on alcohol content. Squatters Pub Brewmaster Jenny Yohe says people who brew at higher alcohol levels can drown out flavor with alcohol. If the Utah laws changed, Yohe says she "wouldn't add more alcohol to many of her beers." However, she says she would be able to educate Utahns about other types of brews.
"We have to compete against every other beer in the world, in that category," said Fischer. "We don't have a buffer of having higher alcohol, so we have to compensate it with great taste. It makes our brewers better."
Utah's international brewing awards may be one of the best kept secrets in the macro-brew industry. Many Utahns don't know about the success of Utah brews because a majority of Utahns don't drink. Many out-of-state beer enthusiasts don't realize the quality because they judge before they taste. But whether you drink or not, make no doubt about it: Utah brewers know how to make a beer.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
How a Czech immigrant and his wife came to Utah with nothing and now together own an award-winning brew pub in Midvale.
by Jonny Glines
Bohemian Brewery is one of several Utah Breweries that has brought international brewing awards to Utah. Located on 7200 south, 94 east, The Bohemian Restaurant looks like an Eastern European Brew Pub, which is exactly what Czech native owner Joe Petras wanted to bring to Salt Lake City: a taste of his homeland.
It's a classic story of the American Dream. When Joe and his wife Helen were looking at a map of the United States they said they "wanted a place that was pretty and hilly." Joe said, "we thought Utah or Denver and we looked at the map and saw the blue lake and decided, okay, Utah!" Joe had no idea it was the Great Salt Lake, and it was full of salt, rather than fish.
When Joe and Helen moved to the U.S. in 1980, Joe didn't speak a lick of English. At 30 years old he worked his first job as a busboy at the Hilton Hotel for $1.60 an hour. He slowly learned English by watching news reports at night. "The first American to whom I could understand is Ted Koppel," Joe said.
Once Joe learned English, he started his own business as a tile contractor. Joe was frugal and eventualy he and his wife were able to save enough to open a restuarant. "My wife and I both come from the hotel and restaurant industry, we both went to school for it," Joe said. They opened a popular restaurant called "Helen's" in Holladay. Joe continued doing tile work until he said he "felt too old to lift the heavy stuff." Many thought he was going to retire, or at least take a break. He ended up buying a brewery instead. "My wife thought I was crazy!" Joe said.
Now Bohemian Brewery offers award winning beers and their brew pub is a destination for ski tourists and residents who want delicious authentic Czech food.
Now Bohemian Brewery offers award winning beers and their brew pub is a destination for ski tourists and residents who want delicious authentic Czech food.
Just last year Bohemian's Czech Helles won a bronze medal in the North American Brewer's Association Competition. There are many misconceptions about Utah Beer that Bohemian Head Brewer Bobby Jackson faces when competing his beer on a national level. "People think because it's Utah that we can't make good beer, but it actually drives us to do better. We have to prove a point." Bobby said. Learn more about the craft brew industry in Utah and the Bohemian Brewery story by clicking the video below.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Dining Guide 2008By Ted Scheffler
Fifteen years ago, I began reviewing restaurants for the Private Eye, which eventually would becomeCity Weekly. And, this month, I officially became City Weekly’s dining editor, the paper’s first. The new job—which is a lot like the old job but with more meetings—along with the publication of this 2008 dining guide, gives me an opportunity to reflect on a decade-and-a-half of local dining. A lot of restaurants have come and gone in the past 15 years. Many have endured; some haven't. And a few are so new, I’ve yet to visit them.
Gone but not forgotten: I get a little teary recalling the eggs and offal at Bill & Nada’s, the incendiary chili from Elvis Nixon’s, Café Creole's great gumbo and the overall vibe at Bubba’s. But does that mean things were better in, say, 1993 than they are now? Hardly. Despite what seems a 10-to-1 ratio of new franchise eateries to independent one-offs in recent years, there are still plenty of unique, soul- and stomach-satisfying restaurants well worth your while. I’m buoyed by the appearance of newer venues such as Five Star Cuisine, Ganesh, Chanon Thai Café, Baxter’s American and Pizzeria 712—restaurants that seem to prove the exception to the rule that only mega-money matters in creating exciting places to dine. Along with the new kids on the block, tried-and-true restaurants also strive to improve and evolve. Hey, you can even get lunch now at Metropolitan, Salt Lake City’s gold standard in the contemporary American cuisine category.
|Part of the new dining editor gig is overseeing the food section of City Weekly’s nifty new Website, launching any day now. As one component of that, I was asked to compile a list of my favorite 100 places to dine along the Wasatch. You’re getting a preview of those in this issue. Note that I didn’t call these the “best” restaurants, or Utah’s Top 100. Looking back over the past 15 years of eating, these are simply the places I come back to again and again, when I’m off-duty and on my own dime—my favorite cafes, bistros, buffets, elegant eateries and fast food joints from Provo and Heber to Salt Lake City and Logan. There are probably a few I’ve forgotten or missed. But, overall, I think the list is a pretty good starting point—a place from which to navigate your way to your personal favorites. So, bon appétit, and don’t forget to tip your server.|
In the vast, sprawling desert of fast food and strip malls that is Midvale, Bohemian Brewery is a beer-lovers oasis. Owned by a family with roots in Czechoslovakia, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Bohemian Brewery produces the finest Czech-style lagers in the state, all brewed according to the Reinheitsgebot German Purity Law. (This is a good thing.) The food options are terrific, too: Bohemian goulash, Bavarian bratwurst, pirogues, chicken paprikash and Old World roast pork are my favorites. Be sure to check out the Vespa collection and the cool artwork while you treat yourself to an award-winning Cherny Bock.
94 E. 7200 South, Midvale, 801-566-5474