Budweiser: The Great Czech Lager?

Posted on July 17th, 2009

Budweiser The Great American Lager?

Budweiser is undoubtedly one of the most iconic and well known American beers around the world. Thanks to its countless commercials proclaiming it the “King of Beers” and “The Great American Lager” coupled with its near universal availability in the US, it’s hard to think of American beer without thinking of Budweiser. Unfortunately, Budweiser isn’t American at all, it’s Czech. That’s right, the beer that is most synonymous with America was actually stolen from a brewery in what today is the Czech Republic.

Pilsner, the style of beer Budweiser attempts to replicate, is originally a Czech style of beer. Originating in the Czech town of Pilsen, Pilsner is a German word which means “from Pilsen.” The first clue that the Great American Lager actually isn’t all that great or American comes from its name. ‘Budweiser’ is also a German word, meaning “from Budweis,” which is a town in the Czech Republic. When German-American immigrant Adolphus Busch started selling Budweiser in 1876, he decided to name it after the town he got the recipe from, Budweis. This wasn’t something the people of Budweis were too pleased about of course, considering they’d been brewing their own Budweiser beer since the 14th century.

As a result Anheuser-Busch and Budejovicky Budvar, the brewery in Budweis which sells the original Budweiser, have been locked in copyright disputes ever since. Currently they’ve reached an awkward truce which allows A-B to sell its beer in the US under the name ‘Budweiser’ while in most of Europe it must be sold as simply ‘Bud’ and in Germany it’s sold under the awkward name ‘Anheuser-Busch B.’ Budejovicky Budvar for it’s part is allowed to sell their beer under Budweiser in Europe while having to go by ‘Budweiser Budvar’ here in the States.

Budweiser "Bud" and Bud Budvar

To give A-B some credit, they didn’t simply ‘borrow’ the recipe and name from Budejovicky Budvar, they also dumbed down the recipe, replacing much of the barley and grains used in the Czech version with flavorless adjuncts like rice and corn. Nothing says American like stealing from other countries and making bland, watery beer. So I guess in a lot of ways Budweiser is the Great American Lager. God Bless America!

  • brendaet

    I had the Czech version of this in Iceland and it doesn't taste much better than the American Budweiser. Though , to be fair I haven't had a Budweiser since my early college days. Couldn't they have chosen a better recipe to steal???

  • brendaet

    I had the Czech version of this in Iceland and it doesn't taste much better than the American Budweiser. Though , to be fair I haven't had a Budweiser since my early college days. Couldn't they have chosen a better recipe to steal???

  • Ethomps10

    The whole point of adding rice is that it allows people to drink copious amounts of Budweiser in one sitting. At least thats what they told us on the brewery tour.

  • DonnaFeel

    Americans are and were never honest people.

  • Rick

    FYI, Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser was around longer then the Czech version so it was the Czechs who are the thieves not Americans.

  • George Wentzel

    Where’s your proof?

  • avs18fan

    And this is completely factually incorrect.

  • KingAdrock

    -1/10, pathetic trolling attempt.

  • KingAdrock

    It’s not called ” Budweiser Budvar” in the US, that’s its regular name in Europe. They don’t use the name “Budweiser” at all in the US, that’s kind of the point. In the states it goes by the name of “Czechvar”.

  • MJB

    well it makes absolutely delicious beer bread 😉 & I like their horse & even most of their commercials – which is a lot more than I can say for most advertising, which indicates little to no intelligence either on the part of the advertising people or their audience (possibly both) Based on advertisements I am concluding that people who go to most fast food places like McM, BK, etc are really stupid-

  • Budvar

    american bud? beer??
    me ——>pub—->czech lager——>toilet—->piss—–>american bud 😀