Sunday, January 14, 2007

Budvar sellout or shrewd business decision...

It looks like Budvar will be partnering with Budweiser in distributing the original "Budweiser Budvar" in the United States. However, as I read it, Budvar will still be labeled "Czechvar" in the US. Both sides agreed that this arrangement could not be used as leverage in their century old trademark dispute over the rights to the name Budweiser.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/01/08/business/beer.php

6 comments:

Joan said...

Press release from the Czechvar website: link

Here's something I was relieved to read:
"The imported Czechvar beer will continue to be brewed at the BBNP brewery in Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic."

I tried a bottle of Czechvar this weekend, and it is much better than any Anheuser-Busch products I've had. I was worried that the partnership might affect the quality of Czechvar production. Glad to know that it won't.

bostonbeerman said...

Joan,

Thanks for posting the press release. That is good news. Budweiser bastardized the recipe so long ago, I would hate to see them do it again.

I think the most encouraging aspect of this article is that Budweiser realizes that it can no longer live on selling crap beer alone if it wants to continue to dominate the market. They have tried, unsuccessfully in my opinion, to capture back premium beer drinkers with products like Budweiser World Select and Budweiser Select. It will be interesting to see if they try to gobble up more smaller imports or local microbrews.

The other good thing is that we will start seeing more Czechvar on the shelves and in local watering holes. It really is an excellent Pilsner.

Anonymous said...

Well... All well and good for you, I guess. But the fact that Budvar is the only Czech owned brewery left in the country is of no insignificance here. The partnership with Anhorrible-Busch is seen as another capitualtion to the hegemony of the United States. It's one thing to say, "If you don't like it, eat at McDonalds," or "just don't watch Hollywood movies, then." It's quite another to have the last nationalist pillar pulled out from under you.

Bad enough that the so-called "signature" Pilsner Urquell, the first "Czech beer" anyone thinks about, is already in the hands of the Germans and their mighty Euros. It's the Sudetenland all over again. Couple that with psychotic price demands for Russian pipeline oil and the American desire to build a "radar station" (right here in budvar-land), and you have imperialism spilling over every border.

Not for nothing is the Czech Republic awfully suspicious of the European Union. We'll just see if "autonomy" lasts longer than it did in '38.

For my money, the deal never should have gone down. Beer is over four times as expensive over the borders in Austria and Germany. Enjoy the Czechvar, by all means, but taste in it the toil of those Czechs resisting the crush of invasions. And know that the days of the quality Czechvar import, merely by association with St. Louis Pisswater, are certainly numbered.

Here. On second thought, better drink as much as you can. "Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow [your brewery] shall die."

Na zdravi.

Lucien Holmes
Ceske Budejovice

bostonbeerman said...

Lucien,

Thanks for the comment. Here is my point, I am as sick as you are that Budweiser is now in partnership with Budvar. I think the fact that Budvar can't even use it's own name is a disgrace. I guess my selfish point is that I now get to drink more Budvar. Believe me, I would be much happier had Budvar not done the deal.

Na zdravi.

Anonymous said...

Well, we'll keep a barstool warm for you over here, Boston.

Can you get Svijany in America? Its an unpasteurized beer, but if Guinness tastes like bread in a bottle, drinking Svijany is like eating the entire bakery.

Put it in your palm pilot. Or better yet, your stomach.

Here's the link anyway: it might be only in Czech. Regardless, perhaps the contact link might be able to tell you if they distribute. Boston and Chicago would be good bets.

http://www.pivovarsvijany.cz/
Kontakty->Vedoucí obchodního oddělení


Lucien
Hluboka nad Vltavou

bostonbeerman said...

Thanks for the tip on Svijany, I have not seen or tried it, but I am often surprised at what I can get here. One of the stores I go to frequently brings in new Eastern European brews.

I just picked up some Pivovar Krusovice Cerne Swarzbier and Imperial, both were decent beers.

Cheers