Budweiser Budvar Brewery

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Budweiser Budvar Brewery (Budějovický Budvar)
Type Government-owned corporation
Industry Beverages
Founded 1895
Headquarters České Budějovice (Budweis), Czech Republic
Products Beers
Revenue CZK 2.4 billion (2004)
Website http://budweiser-budvar.cz

Budweiser Budvar Brewery (Budějovický Budvar) (Czech pronunciation: [ˈbuɟɛjovit͡skiː ˈbudvar]) is a brewery in the city of České Budějovice (German: Budweis), Czech Republic, that is best known for brewing a beer known as Budweiser Budvar. In in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Brazil and Peru, the beer is marketed as Czechvar.[1]

Budweiser Budvar is one of the highest selling beers in the Czech Republic and exports into more than 60 countries across all continents. On the German market, it is the second best sold brand among imported lagers, first among imported beers in the Austrian market and in Great Britain the best selling Czech lager.[2]

History[edit]

The brewery building
Historical beer vats inside the brewery

The history of brewing in České Budějovice, dates back to the 13th century Kingdom of Bohemia, when the city received the brewing rights.[3] The original Budweiser Bier or Budweiser Bürgerbräu (Czech:Budějovický měšťanský pivovar), was founded here in 1785. The company began exporting to the United States in 1871.[4][5] In the U.S., Anheuser-Busch started using the Budweiser brand in 1876 and registered it two years later.

A second company (now named Budvar) was established in 1895 in same town by mainly Czech brewers, which also started exporting beer under the name Budweiser (being the German way of referring to something from the city such as a beer, while "Budějovický" means the same in Czech). These exports into the US market led to the Budweiser trademark dispute. Negotiations between the three companies, the two from the original town and the American Anheuser-Busch, about using "Budweiser" reached an agreement in March 1938 that allowed Anheuser-Busch to use the brand "Budweiser" only in North America.[6]

After the fall of communism, both local breweries tried to secure rights to traditional names.

Trademark dispute[edit]

A mug of Budweiser Budvar

Since the companies had or have trademarks for the name "Budweiser," they have been party to many lawsuits in a number of countries. Because of such disputes, Czech Budweiser is sold in North America under the label Czechvar and American Budweiser is labelled as Bud in all European Union markets, except for Ireland and the United Kingdom.

In the European Union (EU), Budějovický Budvar is recognized as a product with Protected Geographical Indication. However, the trademark rights to the name Budweiser for some products other than beer are owned by Anheuser-Busch.[7]

In early 2007, Anheuser-Busch and Budvar reached an agreement that stated that Anheuser-Busch would market Budvar/Czechvar in the United States and several other countries for an undisclosed fee. However, both sides stated that this did not affect their lawsuits. The partnership with AB InBev was terminated in January 2012, and in July of that year, United States Beverage began responsibility for the sales and marketing of Czechvar in the United States.[8]

In March 2009, Anheuser-Busch lost an appeal against the EU's Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) decision to reject the registration of Budweiser as an EU-wide trademark for beer for Anheuser-Busch. The court pointed out that Budějovický Budvar had proven that it had been using the trade mark during at least the five years preceding the publication of Anheuser-Busch's application for a Community trade mark. The decision also covers malted non-alcoholic beverages (such as non-alcoholic beer).[9]

On 29 July 2010, Anheuser-Busch also lost its last-instance appeal against this decision. This means that Anheuser-Busch may not register the name Budweiser as an EU-wide trademark for beer.[10] In European Union, only Budějovický Budvar is allowed to use the trademark Budweiser, except for Great Britain, Ireland and Sweden, where both beers are sold as Budweiser.

Privatization discussion[edit]

On 6 April 2007, Czech Agriculture Minister Petr Gandalovič, whose ministry is in charge of the state-owned company, announced that the Budvar brewery would be privatized. Gandalovič repeated the possible privatization process would depend on the outcome of the trademark dispute with Anheuser-Busch.

Brands[edit]

  • Budweiser Budvar Czech Premium Lager / Czechvar (Red, white, and Gold Quality Label awarded by Monde Selection in 2011 and 2010/[11]): The classic Budějovický Budvar lager. Contains 5% alcohol by volume.
  • Budweiser Budvar Pale Beer (Silver, white, and Gold Quality Label): Marketed as a more accessible beer than the red label. Contains 4% alcohol by volume.
  • Budweiser Budvar Premium Dark Lager (Black Label and Gold Quality Label/awarded by Monde Selection in 2011 and 2010/): This beer is brewed in the same style as the red label, but is brewed from three different kinds of barley malts. Contains 4.7% alcohol by volume.
  • Budweiser Budvar non-alcoholic beer (Green Label and Gold Quality Label/awarded by Monde Selection in 2011/): A non-alcohol version. Contains a maximum of 0.5% alcohol by volume.
  • Bud Super Strong (Dark Red Label and Silver Quality Label/awarded by Monde Selection in 2005): This beer is marketed as the super-premium member of the Budvar family. Contains 7.6% alcohol by volume.
  • Budweiser Budvar Yeast Lager: Unlike the other Budvar beers, Yeast Lager is served in kegs, not bottles. Contains 5% alcohol by volume.
  • Pardál (Gold Quality Label awarded by Monde Selection in 2010): Budvar calls Pardál "the perfect beer for sharp and full bitter flavoured beer lovers." Contains 3.8% alcohol by volume.

Advertising[edit]

In 2002, Budějovický Budvar set up a subsidiary company in the UK, Budweiser Budvar UK Limited, and saw a dramatic rise in sales for Budweiser Budvar in the UK, where the brand gained far wider distribution. For the start of the 2002–03 Scottish football season, Budweiser Budvar began sponsoring Scottish First Division side Falkirk F.C..[12] In the 2002–2003, Falkirk won the First Division but were denied entry to the Scottish Premier League as the member clubs voted out their groundsharing proposals. Budweiser Budvar UK Ltd subsequently released a statement confirming their continued sponsorship of Falkirk in spite of this setback showing support for the club.[13] Budweiser Budvar continued to sponsor Falkirk F.C. for another two seasons when Falkirk won the First Division again in 2004–2005 in the new Falkirk Stadium and were this time promoted to the SPL as a fitting end to Falkirk's Budweiser Budvar era.

Awards[edit]

Awards include a gold medal at the World Exhibition in Prague in 1896, three times in succession two gold awards (for a lager and special) at the non-competitive Monde Selection quality contest in 1999, 2000, and 2001, and third place at the 2010 Australian International Beer Awards. As for domestic awards, it has been six times "Beer of the Year" in Beer courier magazine (1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004).[14]

References[edit]

  • Jeremy King, Budweisers into Czechs and Germans, 2002: has a few pages on the two breweries.
  • Jackson, Michael (February 2006). "This Bud's for You". Ale Street News (Ale Street News, Jack Babin) 15 (1): 9. Archived from the original on 8 March 2008. Retrieved 10 April 2007. 

External links[edit]