National Bohemian tries light beer as sales tonic

February 15, 1992|By Kim Clark | Kim Clark,Staff Writer

In an attempt to revive its much-ignored local beer, the maker of National Bohemian has added a light brew to its line.

Officials at the G. Heileman Brewing Co. said last night that they are starting to market Bohemian Light beer in an effort to recapture a larger share of the market for the brand that was once the dominant beer in Baltimore.

Heileman, which emerged from federal bankruptcy protection three months ago, is making batches of 10,000 to 15,000 cases of Bohemian Light at its brewery in Halethorpe, said John Gaustad, a local spokesman.

Heileman, which is the fifth-largest brewing company in the United States, has 400 employees at its local plant.

Mr. Gaustad said the new light beer will cost a little more than National Bohemian, an inexpensive beer.

Mr. Gaustad described the new beer as "more 'hoppy,' with more body and malt" than other light beers.

Hops and malt are ingredients of beer.

The 106-year-old National Bohemian and National Premium brands had 60 percent of the local market as recently as the 1960s. Now, however, they make up only about 4 percent of the beer consumed locally.

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