Beer Tastings: Viennese Lager — Bohemian Brewery

Beer Tastings - Utah Beer News

Welcome to Beer Tastings, a weekly series in which Utah Beer News highlights a particularly tasty local brew. What are you drinking? Let us know!

Beer Tastings: 1841 Viennese Lager

Tastings - 1841 Viennese Amber Lager - Bohemian Brewery
Bohemian Brewery’s 1841 Viennese Amber Lager offers a smooth, malt-forward flavor. A touch of earthy/floral hops help to balance the lager.

The 1841 Viennese Amber Lager isn’t your typical lager. Its rich amber color, buttered toast aroma, and toasted grain flavor gives this Vienna-style lager a leg up.

Noble hops infuse the beer earthly/floral notes. The smooth malt-forward beer is kept in check with a nice finishing bitterness (18 IBUs).

It delivers a crisp, clean finish that’s enjoyable on a hot summer day. The Viennese Lager is a go-to beer for me when I’m craving something malty but not syrupy sweet or high in alcohol.

At 4% alcohol-by-volume, it’s available on draft at Bohemian Brewery, as well as on tap at bars and restaurants in Utah. It’s also available in cans.

Bohemian Brewery: A Focus on Lagers

In 2001, Joe Petras and his family brought the tradition of lager brewing to Utah from Czechoslovakia. The practice of brewing beer dates to the 1200s in Pilsen, a city in the area of Bohemia in the Czech Republic.

Bohemian Brewery LogoAnd 600 years later, it really took off.

“In 1842,” Bohemian notes on its website, “legendary Bavarian brewer Josef Groll created the first batches of modern pilsner lager in Bohemia using traditional techniques with new paler malts.”

The Petras family incorporated that tradition into its Midvale, Utah-based brewery. With Reinheitsgebot — the German Purity Law — as its guide, the brewery focused on brewing with only malted barley, hops, yeast, and water.

Bohemian, which jumped on the aluminum-can train early, sells a variety of its beers in six-packs (and other denominations) to go from its cold-beer fridge on site. The brews also are readily available in Utah grocery stores and state-run liquor stores. Its draft offerings (Viennese Lager being a common one) can be found in select bars and restaurants.

The lunch-special BLT with blackened salmon and a side of garlic fries is a favorite of mine.
The lunch-special BLT with blackened salmon and a side of garlic fries is a favorite of mine.

While the brewery continues to produce some of the state’s best lagers, it’s begun to dabble in ales as well. The German Pale Ale is a standout for me.

And don’t sleep on its food. Its German offerings are obviously tasty, but I’ll often stop in, grab a seat at the bar, and order a lunch special BLT with blackened salmon and garlic fries. Washed down with a Viennese Lager, of course.

1841 Viennese Amber Lager — Bohemian Brewery
Tastings - 1841 Viennese Amber Lager - Bohemian Brewery

Product Name: 1841 Viennese Amber Lager

Product Description: From Bohemian Brewery: The 1841 Viennese Lager is a malty amber lager with a toasty finish. The full-bodied, amber-colored lager is a result of combining our fine Pils malt with more darkly roasted malt to brew what has become our most popular beer. Slightly more hoppy than our other beers with a very clean and crisp finish.

  • Aroma
  • Appearance
  • Flavor
  • Mouthfeel

Overall Impression

The 1841 Viennese Amber Lager is a go-to for beer drinkers who appreciate full-flavored craft brews without a ton of hop characteristics. Don’t get me wrong — I pick up nice floral hop notes in the finish but the overall star is the blend of Pils malt and a darker roasted malt.

  • Aroma: Buttered toast, honey
  • Appearance: Rich amber color; medium-high carbonation
  • Flavor: Wheat, honey, some cracker; a nice sweetness with mild finishing bitterness (floral hops)
  • Mouthfeel: Smooth with a little sparkle

But you don’t have to take my word for it.

Note: The tasting notes format is adapted from a Homebrew Academy Beer Tasting Mastery course I took in 2017.