Budweiser Budvar Brewery

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Budweiser Budvar Brewery (Budějovický Budvar)
National corporation
Industry Beverages
Founded 1785
Headquarters České Budějovice, Czech Republic
Products Beers
Revenue CZK 2.47 billion (USD 102 million) in 2015
Website 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, brewed in accordance with the 1516 Reinheitsgebot law, using water, barley and hops.[1]

A dispute has been ongoing since 1907 with American brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev over the name "Budweiser". In the United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Brazil and Peru, the Budvar beer is marketed as Czechvar.[2] In other countries, it is sold as Budweiser Budvar.

Budweiser Budvar is one of the highest selling beers in the Czech Republic in 2014, it was exported into approximately 66 countries.[3] It is the best selling imported beer in Germany[1] and the best selling Czech beer in Austria and Great Britain.[4][5]


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.[6] 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.[7][8] 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.[9]

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

Trademark dispute[edit]

Since the American company Anheuser-Busch InBev also has a trademark for the name "Budweiser", the two companies have been party to many lawsuits in a number of countries since the beginning of the 20th century.

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 the United Kingdom, Ireland and Sweden, where both beers are sold as Budweiser.

On 29 July 2010, Anheuser-Busch lost its last-instance appeal, which means that Anheuser-Busch may not register the name Budweiser as an EU-wide trademark for beer.[10]

Privatization discussion[edit]

A mug of Budweiser Budvar

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 stated that the possible privatization process would depend on the outcome of the trademark dispute with Anheuser-Busch.

The company did not later go through privatization.


  • 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 Fresh Hop Imperial - 7.5% bock made with Saaz green/wet hops fresh from the farm and matured for 200 days.[12]
  • 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.


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..[13] 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.[14] 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 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).[15]


  1. ^ a b Tillmann Neuscheler. Wem gehört das deutsche Bier?. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. February 16, 2016.
  2. ^ Onlio, a.s. © 2008. "Contact us". Retrieved 11 October 2015. 
  3. ^ "Where a Budweiser Isn't Allowed to Be a Budweiser". The guerrilla war on the world's largest brewer has its roots in 1939 
  4. ^ "Budweiser Budvar je nejprodávanějším českým pivem v Rakousku". Budějovický Budvar. 
  5. ^ "Enjoying a Czech beer in London". Czech Radio. 
  6. ^ Onlio, a.s. © 2011. "History of the brewery". Retrieved 11 October 2015. 
  7. ^ http://isdv.upv.cz/dbr/spring/downloadPublicText?documentID=5359[permanent dead link] (in Czech)
  8. ^ "Budějovický měšťanský pivovar, Budweiser Bier – History". Budweiser1795.com. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  9. ^ Ludek Sorm & spol. "Budějovický měšťanský pivovar, a. s. | Budějovický měšťanský pivovar, a. s. – Czech.Republic.CZ – rezervační a informační systém" (in Czech). Atic.cz. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  10. ^ "Press and Information" (PDF). Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  11. ^ Product awards, Budějovický Budvar brewery
  12. ^ http://www.budweiserbudvar.co.uk/news/14
  13. ^ Carl, Askew (25 July 2002). "Football: SHIRT DEAL NO SMALL BEER FOR BAIRNS". Daily Record. Retrieved 11 November 2013.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  14. ^ Hannan, Martin (25 May 2003). "SPL courting disaster as snubbed Falkirk turn to their lawyers". Scotland on Sunday. Retrieved 11 November 2013.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  15. ^ Onlio, a.s. © 2011. "Awards". Retrieved 11 October 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

  • King, Jeremy, 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]