Pete Petráš takes us through Bohemian’s bona fide lineup of Central European lagers.
Some would argue the only place to get a truly authentic Czech lager is in, well, the Czech Republic, but the people of Midvale, Utah, would surely disagree. Since 2001, Bohemian Brewery has churned out some of the finest Central European lagers this side of the Atlantic, collecting an arsenal of medals from CanFest to the Great American Beer Festival.
“My family and I are from the Czech Republic, and the basis for the brewery was to bring Czech recipes to the U.S.,” says co-owner Pete Petráš. “We’re very familiar with the styles because this is our heritage. A lot of the beer passion comes from my father Joseph, who really wanted to open a brewery, not just a restaurant.”
But immaculate beer isn’t the only hallmark of the brewpub and brewery (Bohemian also operates a production brewery that opened last year). Last year, the brewery sponsored longtime friend and mountain climber extraordinaire Apa Sherpa for his world-record-breaking 20th summit of Mt. Everest. In his backpack for the trip: cans of Bohemian’s Czech Pilsener and Viennese Lager, making them the first craft beers ever to reach the top.
“Ours is a traditional Bohemian pils with Saaz hops and yeast imported from the Czech Republic, and a brewer from Budvar helped us with the recipe. It’s pretty much as Czech as you can get. A lot of Czech tourists come here to ski, and think it’s just like home.”
“This one’s not canned, but will be very soon. It’s an unfiltered wheat beer that’s extremely light, crisp and very well balanced. It quenches the thirst and doesn’t fill you up. There’s nice, light citrusy notes, and it does well with fish or chicken.”
“This is an interesting beer, but one Americans don’t quite get because we say it’s amber, but not an amber. It’s a nice, reddish beer that’s very clear. It has some toasted malt notes, but you can also taste some of the hops; it’s well-balanced.”
“Cherny means ‘black’ in Czech. This schwarzbier has really deep, dark cherry color to it, with a coffee aroma. It’s quickly become a favorite among female wine drinkers, and we also make an ice cream out of it, which works because of the chocolaty notes in the beer.”
Where: 94 E. 7200 S., bohemianbrewery.com
Lineup: Four year-round beers with rotating seasonals
Up Next: Bavarian Weiß in cans this summer