This Bürgerbräu's for You
Last night, about a dozen of our group went out to dinner. Someone asked about beers they had, this being Germany, of course, and the first option was Budweiser. I'm not much of a beer drinker, but when in Germany, I do occasionally. But no, there was no way I was going to get a Budweiser here, so I passed.
One of the fellows, though, had a thought and asked if it was Budweiser from Czechoslovakia. When told, yes, he ordered one, and so did a couple others. Not me. Just because it was brewed somewhat locally, that wasn't enough for me to want a Bud.
After the waitress moved on to others in our group, my friend explained why Budweiser from Czechoslovakia was so special. In fact, it wasn't the Budweiser I was thinking of at all. The story is very convoluted, so I'm just going to give you a surface version --
There was a small town in Czechoslovakia that had been making been since the 13th century. By 1785, another company in town started a new beer, which was named -- Budweiser Bürgerbräu. It even got imported to the United States.
As you might imagine, the Budweiser of St. Louis weren't thrilled. And in the 1930s, they registered their name and sued the Czech company. Here's where the story gets very legal and numbing. The short version is that the suits went on for years, and eventually a sort of agreement was reached, where the Czech Budweiser could keep its name in a limited territory, but not export to a wider area including the U.S. It's possible that the St. Louis Bud might even be involved in some way in small distribution.
Anyway, after hearing this, I raced to the waitress and made to order the Czech Budweiser Bürgerbräu. And, by the way, it was really wonderful.
9/3/2016 09:35:02 pm
Anytime someone compares Bud to a real beer, I'm reminded of the old Monty Python joke: How is American beer like making love in a canoe? The punch line is a bit crude, even by Python standards, but it's one of my favorites. I won't type it in case someone easily offended sees this, but this link will take you to a clip from their Hollywood Bowl concert film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8aPABF7nW4
9/4/2016 06:53:05 pm
As God is my witness, I swear that someone told that very joke at the dinner that night!
9/3/2016 09:56:09 pm
The product was available here in Alberta for years as Budvar, but 5-10 years back they changed it to Czechvar.
9/4/2016 06:54:56 pm
Thanks for the update. Yes, I'd read that it was known as Budvar for a while. Didn't know it was sold here that way. That aside, it's definitely "Budweiser" Bürgerbräu over there
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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