History of Budweiser

The Birth and Rise of the Beer King

For many years, Budweiser has been the undisputed king of American beerdom, and is considered one of the America’s national icons. It is also the flagship product of the veteran brewery Anheuser-Busch InBev.

 The development and success of Budweiser traces back to the 19th century in St. Louis, Missouri, where German immigrant Adolphus Busch built his own brewing house. Eventually he partnered with his father-in-law, fellow German-born Eberhard Anheuser, and together they formed the Anheuser-Busch Company. In 1876, Busch introduced Budweiser to the United States. 

Anheuser-Busch developed several brewing techniques, including pasteurization that allowed beer to have longer storage life and quality. The company also introduced the first light-colored lager, during a time when dark beer dominated the preference of many American drinkers.

Anheuser-Busch’s brewing arm was suspended during the Prohibition era (1920-1933). During that time, the company manufactured and marketed a line of non-alcoholic drinks. When the Prohibition was lifted, it brought Budweiser back to the forefront of the beer industry and regained its success.

By 1941, Americans consumed three million barrels of beer annually. Post-war, Anheuser-Busch and Budweiser were back in full swing, witnessing rapid growth in their business. Since then, Budweiser has become the biggest-selling beer in the United States.

 In 2008, Anheuser-Busch was acquired by another brewing giant, InBev. Together, these two companies teamed up to become the world’s largest brewer.

Dispute on the “Budweiser” name

So now you’re wondering why the name “Budweiser”? 

During the early stages of the Anheuser-Busch company, Adolph Busch traveled extensively throughout Europe to study the most up-to-date and groundbreakng brewing methods and techniques. Busch traveled to Ceske Budejovice, a town in the present day Czech Republic, which was famous for its beer and breweries. It was here, where his beer was first brewed.

It was the Czech brewers’ tradition to name their beers after the town where it was first made. Since Ceske Budejovice translates to Budweis in German, Busch named his beer, Budweiser.

Although Anheuser-Busch company quickly trademarked the Budweiser name, European breweries still used the same name to market their own beer. This created several legal problems, but in 1907 an agreement was reached. Anheuser-Busch was allowed to use the “Budweiser” name in North America, while the Czech beer makers were allowed to use the same name in Europe.