Budweiser Budvar Brewery

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

Budweiser Budvar Brewery (Budějovický Budvar) is a brewery in the city of České Budějovice (Budweis), Czech Republic, that is best known for brewing a beer known as Budweiser Budvar in the European Union, Czechvar in the United States and Canada,[1] and either Budweiser Budvar or Budějovický Budvar in the rest of the world.



The original Budweiser Bier or Budweiser Bürgerbräu, was founded in 1785 in České Budějovice (Budweis), Bohemia, which at the time (until 1918) was part of the Habsburg Monarchy. The company began exporting to the US in 1871.[2][3] 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 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 1911 that allowed Anheuser-Busch to use the brand "Budweiser" only in North America.[4]

In most European countries American Budweiser is not labelled as Budweiser but as Bud, and the name Budweiser refers to the original Czech beer, Budweiser Budvar, except for the United Kingdom, where both beers are sold as Budweiser.

After World War I the Austro-Hungarian Empire was broken up, a number of new states were created, including Czechoslovakia. After the fall of communism, both local breweries tried to secure rights to traditional names.

Trademark dispute

Since three 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, Budvar is sold in the United States and Canada under the label Czechvar.

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.[5]

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. Czechvar is listed in Anheuser-Busch's product lineup with brief product info sheet.

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).[6] 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. In Germany and Austria in particular, only Budějovický Budvar is allowed to use the trademark Budweiser.[7]


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.


  • Budweiser Budvar Czech Premium Lager / Czechvar (Red, white, and Golden Label): The classic Budějovický Budvar lager. Contains 5% alcohol by volume.
  • Budweiser Budvar Pale Beer (Silver, white, and Golden Label): Marketed as a more accessible beer than the red label. Contains 4% alcohol by volume.
  • Budweiser Budvar Premium Dark Lager (Black Label): 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): A non-alcohol version. Contains a maximum of 0.5% alcohol by volume.
  • Bud Super Strong (Dark Red Label): 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. 5% alcohol by volume.
  • Pardál: 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.. 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. 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.


External links

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