(Baltimore, MD) – The “pyrates” at Heavy Seas Beer fired a shot across the bow this week with a new t-shirt taking aim at a crosstown rival. It reads, “Actually brewed in Baltimore.”
And with an ode to a Baltimore one-eyed icon, that crosstown rival appears to be National Bohemian Beer.
National Bohemian Beer, also known affectionately as Natty Boh’s, is a heritage brand that was originally rooted in Baltimore but not any longer. Stroh Brewery bought the brand in 1996 and Pabst bought it a few years later. After letting the brand sag for more than a decade, Pabst decided to kickstart the brand and bring it back on tap in 2012.
As of last year, the beer was being brewed under contract at the MillerCoors brewing facilities in North Carolina and Georgia, according to a Baltimore Sun report.
That fact is likely what Heavy Seas is contending with as the Natty Boh’s brand heavily bills itself as a Baltimore brand in its marketing and promotional efforts. To illustrate, its main Twitter handle is @BohinBaltimore. That same Sun piece notes that 90% of brand sales, approximately 10,000 barrels in 2012, comes in the Baltimore market.
For its part, Heavy Seas was originally known as Clipper City Brewing and is brewed in Halethorpe (a Baltimore suburb). 6/7 Update: Heavy Seas cans are actually produced in Utica, New York, at Matt Brewing Company, according to TTB filings.
Beginning to live up to a brand known for swashbuckling mischief, Heavy Seas’ founder, Hugh Sisson, took a stand last year against brands that don’t have “skin in the game.”