Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A-B now to distribute Budvar

Anheuser-Busch seems to be on an if you can't beat'em, join'em campaign. Following yesterday's news of a stake in local brewer Old Dominion, comes news today that A-B has acquired the distribution rights to Budvar Budweis. Know in the US as Czechvar - because of international legal disputes with A-B over the right to use the name Bud - this is a true pilsner beer from the Czech Republic.

A-B refers to the beer as a super-premium. This isn't necessarily a reference to quality - even though in this case it is - but a beer industry word used to designate a beer sold at higher price - at a super premium. By that definition, most American craft beers are super-premiums!

From 2001 through 2004, I was a salesman for Legends, Ltd., distributor of Czechvar in Maryland. I'm hoping, although not sanguine, that this independent company will retain its franchise to distribute Czechvar in Maryland. News when I hear it.

Anheuser-Busch, Czech Brewer Strike Deal

The Associated Press
Tuesday, January 9, 2007; 2:11 AM

ST. LOUIS -- Beer causes fights. Beer kindles friendships. In the case of Anheuser-Busch and its longtime Czech rival, beer is making both things happen at once.

Anheuser-Busch Cos. announced a deal Monday to distribute a beer brewed by Budejovicky Budvar. Both companies stand to benefit from the deal. But they also say it won't end their century-old legal fight over the Budweiser trademark.

The companies both claim exclusive rights to use the Budweiser name, and their trademark dispute has tied up courts throughout Europe.

But even as the lawyers battle it out, the two brewers will share common ground in pushing Budvar's Czechvar Premium Czech Lager to nationwide distribution in the United States.


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