The Original Czech Budweiser
About the Beer Maker
But first a little story....
Budweiser is undoubtedly one of the most iconic and well known American beers around the world. Unfortunately, Budweiser isn’t American at all, it’s Czech. That’s right, the beer that is most synonymous with America is actually made from a recipe that was stolen from a brewery in what today is the Czech Republic.
‘Budweiser’ is also a German word, meaning “from Budweis,” which is a town in the Czech Republic. When German-American immigrant Adolphus Busch started selling Budweiser in 1876, he decided to name it after the town he got the recipe from, Budweis. This wasn’t something the people of Budweis were too pleased about of course, considering they’d been brewing their own Budweiser beer since the 14th century.
As a result Anheuser-Busch (A-B) and Budejovicky Budvar, the brewery in Budweis which sells the original Budweiser, have been locked in copyright disputes ever since. Currently they’ve reached an awkward truce which allows A-B to sell its beer in the US under the name ‘Budweiser’ while in most of Europe it must be sold as simply ‘Bud’ and in Germany it’s sold under the awkward name ‘Anheuser-Busch B.’ Budejovicky Budvar for it’s part is allowed to sell their beer under Budweiser in Europe while having to go by ‘Budweiser Budvar’ here in the States.
Before you get distressed thinking that the Budvar Budejovicky Pilsner is going to a bland, watered down version of the American Budweiser, its important to note that the Americans didn’t simply ‘borrow’ the recipe and name from Budejovicky Budvar, they also dumbed down the recipe, replacing much of the barley and grains used in the Czech version with flavorless adjuncts like rice and corn. So don't panic. The Budvar Budejovicky Pilsner is a much, much better beer than its American counterpart.
Pilsen in Bohemia may be the home of the Pilsener style but the beers of nearby Budweis were traditionally held in such high esteem that the brewery of the Bohemian royal court was located here. Bohemia has outstanding hops and unrivalled malting barley thanks to its unique climate. Budvar is one of Bohemia’s great names, a great amongst beers.
About the Beer
Pilsner is an original Czech style of beer. Originating in the Czech town of Pilsen, Pilsner is a German word which means “from Pilsen". And Budvar is a classic example of the Czech Pilsner style. It showcases the bitterness of the Saaz hop brilliantly. It's a versatile lager as it appeals to the slightly adventurous drinker and craft beer drinkers alike. Budvar is a big lager. For a start it contains 5% alcohol which gives body and drives the flavour which is round and full, toasty, malty, almost fruity as lagers go. However, all of this opulence is perfectly counterbalanced by a certain bitterness on the clean finish which comes through from the local hops.
If you haven't had it yet it's a beer I'd highly recommend trying, it's one of those ones that all beer drinkers should have at least once.