Beer Culture

Stories about great beer from the countries that invented it.

Tag: Budvar (Page 2 of 2)

The Truth About Budvar


The great British beer writer Roger Protz has posted an update on the situation at Budvar on his blog. This echoes the news about Budvar that was posted here, but with more insight and opinion. Please read it. Now.

To me, Roger’s post shows Budvar’s firm place in the heart of beer fans outside of the Czech Republic, probably due to the easy-to-recognize David vs. Goliath story line in Budvar’s fight with America’s Anheuser-Busch over the name Budweiser. I do think that foreign beer lovers’ emotional attachment to Budvar sometimes tends to cloud their our judgment: it’s as if we are certain Anheuser-Busch is pure evil, therefore Budvar, as its opponent, must be perfectly righteous. Of course, this line of thinking would make sense only in a comic book — in real life, situations are generally more nuanced.

Roger’s been a great help to me personally, and I do agree with his basic premise. But assuming you’ve read the post, I’ll pick a few bones with it in order to present what I think is the truth about Budvar as it appears on the ground here in its home country.

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Budvar Sale Update


There’s a new twist in the Budvar sale story. As most readers of these pages are probably already well aware, Budějovický Budvar (pictured above) is the last brewery to remain Czech national property and its privatization seems to be proposed about every two years. Due to Budvar’s claim to the name Budweiser and its numerous ongoing legal battles with Anheuser-Busch on the issue, many argue that Budvar should not ever be privatized, lest it be bought by the maker of American Budweiser and shuttered — or worse, forced to brew bad beer.

Last month I mentioned that the current Czech government has announced a tender for its legal advisor in the sale of Budvar — a first step toward privatization. Yesterday, Forbes reported that the proposed sale of Budvar will not take place before the current government leaves office in 2010, contrary to what was suggested in December.

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Help Wanted: Selling Budvar


A few months ago, a friend mentioned that when he was just starting out as a young lawyer in the mid-1990s, he did some work at a law firm here in Prague. One of his projects back then was the contract for a possible sale of Budějovický Budvar to Anheuser-Busch.

That sale never went through, of course, and Budvar and Anheuser-Busch maintain a “frenemy” relationship today, entering into distribution deals for Budvar (only under its “Czechvar” pseudonym) in the United States while continuing international legal battles over the name “Budweiser.”

But talk of Budvar’s sale (subscription required) has returned, as the Prague Daily Monitor news desk reports, via Hospodářské noviny.

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