Budweiser Budvar Brewery

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Coordinates: 48°59′37″N 14°28′34″E / 48.9935766°N 14.4761973°E / 48.9935766; 14.4761973

Budějovický Budvar, národní podnik
Budweiser Budvar Brewery
  • Czech Joint-Stock Brewery (1895–1930)
  • Budvar-Czech Joint-Stock Brewery České Budějovice (1930–1967)
TypeState-owned enterprise
IndustryAlcoholic beverages and brewing
Founded1895; 127 years ago (1895)
HeadquartersKarolíny Světlé 512/4, ,
Czech Republic
Key people
ProductsLager varieties, such as pale lager, dunkel and eisbock
Production output
Increase 1.6 million hL of beer[1] (2015)
RevenueIncrease CZK 2,470 million[1] (2015)
Increase CZK 349.8 million[1] (2015)
254,927,000 Czech koruna (2017) Edit this on Wikidata
Total assets5,327,842,000 Czech koruna (2017) Edit this on Wikidata
Number of employees
653[1] (2015)

Budweiser Budvar (Czech: Budějovický Budvar [ˈbuɟɛjovɪtskiː ˈbudvar]) is a brewery in the Czech city of České Budějovice (German: Budweis), best known for its original Budweiser or Budweiser Budvar pale lager brewed using artesian water, Moravian barley and Saaz hops.[2][3] Budweiser Budvar is the fourth largest beer producer in the Czech Republic and the second largest exporter of beer abroad.[4]

The state-owned brewery and its Budweiser pale lager have been engaged in a trademark dispute with Anheuser-Busch, a brewery in the United States, over the right to market and sell the beer under the name Budweiser since the start of the 20th century.[5][6] The brewery is incorporated as Budějovický Budvar, národní podnik ("Budweiser Budvar, national enterprise").


Budweiser Budvar's headquarters and brewery in the Kněžské Dvory suburb of České Budějovice, pictured in 2011


The history of brewing in České Budějovice (German: Budweis) dates back to 1265, when Ottokar II, King of Bohemia, granted the city brewing rights.[7] At one point, the city was the imperial brewery of the Holy Roman Empire.[3] To promote the quality of the drink, nearby towns were forbidden from brewing. To distinguish Budweis beer from that coming from other regions, it was called Budweiser Bier ("beer from Budweis" in German).[8][5] By early 16th century, the Czech brewing industry was providing up to 87% of the total revenue for municipalities. The Thirty Years' War between 1618 and 1648, however, devastated much of Central Europe and with it, the Czech beer industry. Concurrently, the Kingdom of Bohemia became a part of the Habsburg Monarchy after the war.[9]

A separate brewery, Budweiser Bürgerbräu (Czech: Budějovický měšťanský pivovar) was founded in 1795 by the city's German-speaking citizens and started brewing Budweiser Bier in 1802.[5][10] The company began shipping its beer to the United States in 1875. A year after, Adolphus Busch, a German immigrant to the United States and a businessman, encountered the brewery's Budweiser often during his visit to Europe. Thus, he decided to name his own beer Budweiser and brew it according to the Bohemian process.[11] Budweiser Bürgerbräu was acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2014 to aid its claim on the Budweiser trademark.[12]


Budweiser Budvar Brewery was incorporated in 1895 as the Czech Joint Stock Brewery when local Czech breweries in České Budějovice, then part of Austria-Hungary, merged and started brewing Budweiser with new technology. With the German occupation of Czechoslovakia during World War II and its communist-rule during the Cold War, the brewery was unable to compete with the American Anheuser-Busch as production faltered. By 1948, all Czech breweries had been nationalized by the communist government.[5][9][11]

The brewery reported in 2015 that it had grown by 226% since 1991 and that its total sell volume had increased by 39% in the last ten years.[1]

Budweiser Budvar[edit]

Historical beer vats inside the brewery in České Budějovice, pictured in 2004


Budweiser Budvar beer is produced only in the brewery headquarters at České Budějovice according to the Bavarian Reinheitsgebot beer purity law from 1516, drawing artesian water from wells beneath it and brewed with Moravian barley and Saaz hops, known as a noble hop variety, from the Žatec region.[2][6] The lagers are matured for a minimum of 90 days. Nick Redmayne of The Independent newspaper contrasted this with 72 hours of lagering (maturation), after which mass-market beers are sold.[3] In 2004, the European Union awarded Budweiser Budvar a Protected Geographical Indication status as a traditionally and regionally produced good.[3] Budweiser is considered the brewery's "signature product" and a "symbol of national pride".[5] Author of influential books on beer, Michael Jackson, said the following of the company's lager in 2002:

Budweiser Budvar is a great beer because it has great raw materials and great brewers. They produce it in a slow and painstaking way. Its integrity is best served by its being produced in its town of origin, in a region with pride in its beer.[13]

In 1990, the company brewed 450,000 hectolitres of beer a year and exported to 18 countries; in 2013, 1.42 million hectolitres and 66 countries; and in 2015, 1.6 million hectolitres and 76 countries, respectively.[3][6][1] It is the most bought foreign beer in Germany, selling approximately 290,000 hectolitres per year according to a 2016 news report[2] and the best selling Czech beer in the United Kingdom according to a 2003 news report.[14]

Trademark dispute[edit]

Budweiser as sold in Geneva, Switzerland in 2017

Budweiser Budvar Brewery and the American brewery Anheuser-Busch have been engaged in an ongoing trademark dispute over the name Budweiser since the start of the 20th century. In 1939, only one week before the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, Budweiser Budvar agreed to concede exclusive rights to the American brewery in the United States area.[15] During World War II and the Cold War, Budweiser Budvar was unable to compete with then independent Anheuser-Busch. In 1994, then CEO of Budweiser Budvar Jiří Boček decided not to sign a trademark agreement with the American brewery to divide their territory across the world.[6] On 29 July 2010, Anheuser-Busch lost its last-instance appeal in the European Court of Justice, meaning it may not register the name Budweiser as a European Union trademark for beer.[16]

Due to the trademark dispute, Budweiser Budvar beer is imported as Czechvar in Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Philippines and the United States[17][18] and Anheuser-Busch sells its beer as Bud in most of the European Union.


Budweiser Budvar beer logo
A mug of Budweiser pale lager

The company brews different types of lager:[19]

  • CLASSIC, a pale draught beer with 4.0% ABV (in Czech: 10° or Výčepní).
  • ORIGINAL, 90-day matured pale lager and flagship of the brand, marketed as a premium lager, contains 5.0% ABV (in Czech: 12° or Ležák).
  • DARK, a dark lager with Munich, caramel and roasted malt and 4.7% ABV (in Czech: Tmavé).
  • SPECIAL, the original pale lager with added cultures of yeast and 5.0% ABV (in Czech: Kroužkovaný ležák).
  • CVIKL, an unfiltered yeast pale lager with 4.0% ABV (in Czech: Nefiltrované).
  • STRONG, a strong pale lager matured for 200 days, contains 7.5% ABV (in Czech: 16° or Speciál).
  • FREE, a low-alcohol beer with 0.5% ABV (in Czech: Nealkoholické).
  • CRYO, an eisbock with 21% ABV (in Czech: Mražený speciál).

Additionally, Budweiser Budvar brewery produces beer under the Pardál brand.[20]

  • Pardál, a pale draught beer with 3.8% ABV.
  • Pardál Echt, a pale lager with 4.5% ABV.
  • Pardál Echt kvasnicový, an unfiltered yeast beer with 4.5% ABV.
  • Pardálovo Bezové, an elderberry beer with 2,0% ABV.

List of brewmasters[edit]

The following is a list of Budweiser Budvar Brewery's brewmasters:[21]

  • Antonín Holeček, 1.4.1895–31.3.1899
  • František Felix, 1.4.1899-31.12.1908
  • Josef Brych, 1.1.1909–26.2.1919
  • Vladimír Kořán, 1.3.1919-31.12.1935
  • Oldřich Miškovský, 1.1.1936–30.4.1942
  • Václav Rambousek, 1.5.1942–10.4.1948
  • Rudolf Smolík, 1.1.1949–31.7.1959
  • Miloš Heide, 1.8.1959–31.12.1984
  • Josef Tolar, 1.1.1985–31.12.2008
  • Adam Brož, 1.1.2009–present

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Budweiser Budvar Brewery's 2015 business and economic results". Budějovický Budvar, n.p. 2016-07-21. Archived from the original on 2017-12-06. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  2. ^ a b c "Wem gehört das deutsche Bier?". Frankfurter Allgemeine (in de-DE). 2016-02-16. Retrieved 2017-12-05.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  3. ^ a b c d e Redmayne, Nick (2017-11-09). "How Budweiser Budvar became the heart of Czech beer culture". The Independent. Retrieved 2017-12-05.
  4. ^ "MAPA: Komu patří pivovary v Česku? Čtyři piva z deseti jsou z Prazdroje". iDNES.cz. 14 October 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e Remakant, Manu (2017-07-30). "What's in a Name? Don't Ask Bud Lovers That". CNN-News18. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  6. ^ a b c d Cunningham, Benjamin (2014-01-27). "Where a Budweiser Isn't Allowed to Be a Budweiser". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2017-12-05.
  7. ^ "History of the brewery". Budějovický Budvar, n.p. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  8. ^ "Budweiser Budvar Brewery's trademarks". Budějovický Budvar, n.p. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  9. ^ a b Englund, Terje B. (2004). The Czechs in a Nutshell. Prague: Baset. pp. 37–38. ISBN 8073400510.
  10. ^ Kenety, Brian (2005-08-22). "Centuries-old 'Budweiser Bier' heading for St Louis to take on American giant". Radio Praha. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  11. ^ a b Notte, Jason (2016-05-11). "Budweiser's 'America' no longer exists". MarketWatch. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  12. ^ Rousek, Leos (2014-07-02). "InBev Buys Brewery Where Budweiser Name Began". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  13. ^ Jackson, Michael (2002-05-02). "Does the world understand Czech beers?" (Speech at the Czech Embassy in London). Retrieved 2017-12-05.
  14. ^ Willoughby, Ian (2003-03-26). "Enjoying a Czech beer in London". Radio Praha. Retrieved 2017-12-05.
  15. ^ Watkins, Kirby (2007). Fair Use of Trademarks: Anheuser-Busch v Budějovicky Budvar. Prague: Charles University.
  16. ^ "Judgment in Case C-214/09 P Anheuser-Busch Inc. v OHIM and Budĕjovický Budvar, národní podnik" (PDF). Court of Justice of the European Union. 2010-07-29.
  17. ^ "Contact us". www.czechvar.com. Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2017-12-05.
  18. ^ "First Czech beer to hit PHL market". BusinessMirror. 2017-10-22. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  19. ^ "Naše pivo". Budejovickybudvar.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  20. ^ "Pivo Pardál ... pivo vyladěné samotnými pijáky!". Budejovickybudvar.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  21. ^ Rail, Evan (2009-01-15). "A New Brewmaster Takes Over at Budweiser Budvar". Beer Culture. Retrieved 2017-12-06.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]