There are hundreds of beers in the world, and if you are a beer drinker yourself then you more than likely have a favorite one. Do you go for flavor, looks, or just simply cost? Whichever you go for I’m sure that you look at people strange when they choose a beer not to your liking.
There is however, one beer that seems to be universally liked, Budweiser. There has been a major debate and tons of court battles between the US based brewery Anheuser-Bush InBev, and the Budejovicky Budvar brewery in Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic.
Many Americans have grown to see the St. Louis based Budweiser Company and its iconic Clydesdale as an American stable, with its pale and light lager quality it has become the most popular beer in the US.
However, the Czech brewery believes that the US has stole the name of Budweiser from them. There was a court battle over who should have the rights to the name Budweiser yesterday, but just like 100 years before, there is still no winner. However yesterday a court did not officially hand over the rights to the name Budweiser, but reportedly have sided with the small brewery in the Czech Republic according to MSN.
The Czech brewery wants to keep the name of Budweiser because of the town name, and believes the name is what is keeping the brewery in business, along with residents flocking to get their hands on the much darker looking beer.
On the other side, founders of Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis used the name for their product because it was so well-known. The brewer started producing Budweiser, America’s first national beer brand, in 1876 which was 19 years before Budvar was founded, according to USA Today.
The dispute between the two breweries is over exclusive rights, when only one of the companies is allowed to use the Budweiser name in any given country. Anheuser-Bush who is always looking to expand into as many countries tried to be the bigger person in their dispute, by offering a global dispute to Budvar. However, Budvar thought of it as an insult and rejected the offering, while also voicing their opinion about it as well.
“Any new deal proposed by Anheuser-Busch wouldn’t be working for us,” Budvar’s general director Jiri Bocek said in a statement to the associated press.
Ever since 2000, when both breweries were granted the rights to the Budweiser name after a British court ruled that drinkers were aware of the difference between the two beers, both companies have produced highly profitable years. Even though Budvar has won 88 of 124 lawsuits between the two companies, it is still Anheuser-Bush that continues to push out the most beer, despite not having a big presence in European countries.
A-B InBev can be seen in over 80 countries, while Budvar has claimed just over 60 countries. Last year alone, Budvar produced an amazing 279 million pints of Budweiser, but A-B produced an astonishing 73.9 billion pints. Although A-B is pushing out more beer in a year, Budvar still have what A-B wants and that is a big selling base in beer loving Germany.
“It’s certainly quite unpleasant for AB InBev that it cannot sell the well-known brand it has developed on some key markets, especially in Germany, which is the most important market for Budvar,” Karel Potmesil an stock brokerage analyst said.
While the dispute between the two companies has gone on for a century now, it shows no signs of letting up. Next time you grab for a Budweiser no matter here in the US or in another country think about which company you’re supporting.