Battles over Budweiser

Yesterday was a good day for beer lovers. After almost a century of disagreements between Anheuser-Busch and the Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar (BBNP) over the name for their beers, the two brewers have formed an historic alliance in which Anheuser-Busch will become the U.S. importer of Czechvar Premium Czech Lager. Now that both parties have figured out a way to make money, pride suddenly went aside.

The new alliance does not stop any existing legal proceedings, but it is a step towards a reasonable agreement. Budvar cannot legally use the name “Bud”, “Budvar” or “Budweiser” (which they use throughout Europe) so they use the brand “Czechvar” in the US market. Czechs are claiming that Americans “stole the name” from the centuries-old brewery in Budweis (town in southern Bohemia). Americans, however, have invested too much into the brand to give it up. Maybe it is time that Anheuser-Busch started investing in the taste of their beer, not the name.