U.S. Budweiser vs. Czech Budvar

by Walter Olson on December 19, 2012

Not many consumers are likely to confuse the two beers as they taste quite different. Even so: “The two companies have been in a legal battle since 1906. Today, the dispute is being waged through 61 suits in 11 countries.” [AP]


1 Vern Dennis 12.19.12 at 7:27 am

I’ve tasted both the American and Czech beers. The American Budweiser is tasteless swill that I doubt many Europeans would want , the Czech beer is more expensive and tastes it. The big battle seems to be in Germany

2 Bumper 12.19.12 at 10:38 am

Unless the Germans have changed their legal definition of beer there is no way in God’s green earth that the swill InBev calls Budwieser would pass muster to be sold in Germany.

3 Black Death 12.19.12 at 11:49 am

I agree. The mass market American beers resemble horse piss. Some of the American microbrews, however, are on a par with the better European beers.

4 Jamie R 12.19.12 at 12:36 pm


When we think of German beer in America, we think of good beer. The biggest breweries in Germany make really bad beer – Oetinger and Krombacher. They compete solely in the discount beer market, selling bottles at less than 50 eurocents per half-liter at Aldi and Lidl. They’re really bad, and do not compare favorably to US Budweiser or most either major US beers. If AB Inbev can get the price of their Budweiser low enough, they could really eat up a lot German marketshare. AB Inbev already has a large share of the German market with Beck’s; they could take more of it with budweiser.

5 CarLitGuy 12.19.12 at 1:32 pm

A plausible argument can be made that the two products aren’t even in the same market, and that there is no real likelihood of confusion in the mind of any reasonable consumer (assuming a reasonable consumer has some modicum of basic knowledge about the products they wish to purchase).

Budvar is, quite definitively, beer (albeit of a style I don’t care for). Budweiser, on the other hand, is most definitely not beer. Some kind of alcoholic beverage, yes. Beer, no.

Of course, I am a self admitted beer snob, so my opinion may not be a fair reflection of the typical consumer.

6 Hugo S. Cunningham 12.19.12 at 1:33 pm

Both the Czech and English names translate to “Budweiser” in German. It will be curious to see how it plays out there. The Czech recipe is closer to European tastes, but Germans are well aware that the (ethnic German) people who started the company were driven out of Czechoslovakia by the postwar ethnic cleansing in 1945-1948.

7 Anonymous Attorney 12.19.12 at 2:25 pm

This is a fantastic opportunity for a joint ad campaign featuring the reconciliation of the two brewers. Ad men, prepare your pitches.

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