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Friday, October 23, 2009

Interviewed by Beer In Me

Interview with Bohemian Brewery

Andy, Saturday 24 October 2009 - 17:18:14

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.

Bohemian Brewery

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

Father and son team, Peter and Joseph Petras.
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

Bobby Jackson is one the youngest brewers in the country

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.

Bohemian Brewery Canning Line

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

Contact Information:
94 East 7200 South
Salt Lake City, Utah, 84047
United States
Phone: (801) 566-5474
-Website Link-

Thursday, October 22, 2009

On the air in Reno

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.—-Weekdays-10-a-m—to-3-p-m-/5096916