Czech beer has inspired imitations, reproductions and outright ripoffs around the globe. There’s the world-wide use of the term Pilsner, which is only applied to one beer in the country of its birth. At least two beers from Anheuser-Busch have taken Czech names, only one of which is Budweiser. (Who’s quick enough to tell me the second?)
Way out in Utah there’s the Bohemian Brewery, founded by a family of Czech émigrés, which joins National Bohemia from Maryland, Bohemia from Mexico, and Sagres Bohemia from Portugal. And then there’s this.
The picture above — taken by Mark Lowerson of the Stickyrice food blog and used with his permission — is from Gammebeer, a Czech-style brewpub in Hanoi, Vietnam. In a brazen use of seriously copyrighted material, the glasses achieve two noteworthy feats:
It misspells Gambrinus (Gambrinuz? Gambrinu2?), and swipes the trademark G of the other beer from Pilsen, now part of SAB-Miller.
It conflates Gambrinus, the fourteenth-century king of Flanders, with the nineteenth-century railway stationmaster who became Pivovar Velké Březno’s Zippich mascot.
Separated at birth?
I’ll call it an homage and leave it at that. Of course, the lawyers who work for the breweries might have other ideas…