Budweiser (Anheuser-Busch)
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Budweiser Anheuser-Busch

TypeAmerican lager
Country of originUnited States
Introduced1876; 145 years ago (1876) (in St. Louis, Missouri, United States)
Alcohol by volume5%, USA, Netherlands, Thailand, India, Canada
4.9% Bottle, Australia
4.5% UK, Ireland, Australia
3.6% China

Budweiser is an American-style pale lager produced by Anheuser-Busch, part of AB InBev.[1]

Internationally, Budweiser may also refer to an unrelated pale lager beer, originating in ?eské Bud?jovice, Czech Republic (historically Budweis) produced by the Bud?jovický Budvar brewery. The parallel existence of two separate brands with the same name has given rise to a series of trademark disputes. Usually, either Anheuser-Busch or Bud?jovický Budvar are granted the exclusive use of the Budweiser name in a given market. Anheuser-Busch commonly uses the Bud brand for its beer when Budweiser is not available.

Introduced in 1876 by Carl Conrad & Co. of St. Louis, Missouri,[2] Budweiser has become one of the largest-selling beers in the United States. The lager is available in over 80 countries, though not under the Budweiser name where Anheuser-Busch does not own the trademark. Budweiser is a filtered beer, available on draft and in bottles and cans, made (unlike the Czech lager) with up to 30% rice in addition to the hops and barley malt used by all lagers.[3]

Name origin and dispute

American Budweiser is sold in most of the European Union as "Bud" (left). At right is a bottle of Czech Budweiser

The name Budweiser is a German derivative adjective, meaning "of Budweis". Beer has been brewed in Budweis (now ?eské Bud?jovice, Czech Republic) since it was founded in 1265.[4] In 1876, German-born Adolphus Busch and his friend Carl Conrad developed a "Bohemian-style" lager in the United States, inspired after a trip to Bohemia and produced it in their brewery in St. Louis, Missouri.

Anheuser-Busch has been involved in a trademark dispute with the Budweiser Budvar Brewery of ?eské Bud?jovice over the trademark rights to the name "Budweiser".

In the European Union, excluding the Republic of Ireland, Sweden, Finland and Spain, the American beer is marketed as Bud, as the Budweiser trademark name is owned solely by the Czech beer maker, Budweiser Budvar.[5][6] In some countries both the Budvar and Anheuser-Busch lagers are available under the Budweiser name.

In 2008, Anheuser-Busch had a market share in the United States of 50.9% for all beers sold.[7][needs update] Budweiser brands account for about half of Anheuser-Busch's sales volume, a figure which has been steadily declining at ​-2% per year.[8]


One of the Budweiser Clydesdales

Anheuser-Busch advertises the Budweiser brand heavily, expending $449 million in 2012 in the United States.[9] This made it the most advertised drink brand in America,[9] and accounted for a third of the company's US marketing budget.[10]

The Budweiser from Bud?jovice has been called "The Beer of Kings" since the 16th century. Adolphus Busch adapted this slogan to "The King of Beers."[11][8] This history notwithstanding, Anheuser Busch owns the trademark to these slogans in the United States.[12]

From 1987 to 1989, Bud Light ran an advertising campaign centered around a canine mascot, Spuds MacKenzie.[13]

In 2010, the Bud Light brand paid $1 billion for a six-year licensing agreement with the NFL.[14] Budweiser pays $20 million annually for MLB licensing rights.[14]thumb Bottle of Budweiser at the Crown Perth WA Australia Budweiser has produced a number of TV advertisements, such as the Budweiser Frogs,[15][16] lizards impersonating the Budweiser frogs,[17] a campaign built around the phrase "Whassup?",[18] and a team of Clydesdale horses commonly known as the Budweiser Clydesdales.[19]

Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s No. 8 Budweiser-sponsored car in 2007.

Budweiser also advertises in motorsports, from Bernie Little's Miss Budweiser hydroplane boat[20] to sponsorship of the Budweiser King Top Fuel Dragster driven by Brandon Bernstein.[21] Anheuser-Busch has sponsored the CART championship.[] It is the "Official Beer of NHRA"[22] and it was the "Official Beer of NASCAR" from 1998 to 2007.[23] It has sponsored motorsport events such as the Daytona Speedweeks,[24]Budweiser Shootout, Budweiser Duel, Budweiser Pole Award, Budweiser 500, Budweiser 400, Budweiser 300, Budweiser 250, Budweiser 200, and Carolina Pride / Budweiser 200. However, starting in 2016, the focus of A-B's NASCAR sponsorship became its Busch brand.[25]

Budweiser has been sponsor of NASCAR teams such as Junior Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, DEI, and Stewart-Haas Racing. Sponsored drivers include Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (1999-2007), Kasey Kahne (2008-2010), and Kevin Harvick (2011-2015).[26] In IndyCar, Budweiser sponsored Mario Andretti (1983-1984), Bobby Rahal (1985-1988), Scott Pruett (1989-1992), Roberto Guerrero (1993), Scott Goodyear (1994), Paul Tracy (1995), Christian Fittipaldi (1996-1997), and Richie Hearn (1998-1999).

Between 2003 and 2006, Budweiser was a sponsor of the BMW Williams Formula One team.

Anheuser-Busch has placed Budweiser as an official partner and sponsor of Major League Soccer and Los Angeles Galaxy and was the headline sponsor of the British Basketball League in the 1990s. Anheuser-Busch has also placed Budweiser as an official sponsor of the Premier League and the presenting sponsor of the FA Cup.

In the early 20th century, the company commissioned a play-on-words song called "Under the Anheuser Bush," which was recorded by several early phonograph companies.

In 2009, Anheuser-Busch partnered with popular Chinese video-sharing site, Tudou.com for a user-generated online video contest. The contest encourages users to suggest ideas that include ants for a Bud TV spot set to run in February 2010 during the Chinese New Year.[27]

In 2010, Budweiser produced an online reality TV series, called Bud House, centered around the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, following the lives of 32 international football fans (one representing each nation in the World Cup) living together in a house in South Africa.[28]

On November 5, 2012, Anheuser-Busch asked Paramount Pictures to obscure or remove the Budweiser logo from the film Flight (2012), directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Denzel Washington.[29]

In an advertisement titled "Brewed the Hard Way" that aired during Super Bowl XLIX, Budweiser touted itself as "Proudly A Macro Beer", distinguishing it from smaller production craft beers.[30]

In 2016, Beer Park by Budweiser opened on the Las Vegas Strip.[31]

In October 7, 2016, the Budweiser Clydesdales made a special appearance on the Danforth Campus at Washington University in St. Louis ahead of the presidential debate. A special batch beer named Lilly's Lager was exclusively brewed for the occasion.[32]

Containers and packaging


Over the years, Budweiser has been distributed in many sizes and containers. Until the early 1950s Budweiser was primarily distributed in three packages: kegs, 12 U.S. fl oz (355 ml) bottles and 1 US quart (0.95 l) bottles. Cans were first introduced in 1936, which helped sales to climb.[33] In 1955 August Busch Jr.[34] made a strategic move to expand Budweiser's national brand and distributor presence. Along with this expansion came advances in bottling automation, new bottling materials and more efficient distribution methods. These advances brought to market many new containers and package designs. As of 2011 Budweiser is distributed in four large container volumes: half-barrel kegs (15.5 US gal; 58.7 l), quarter-barrel kegs (7.75 US gal; 29.3 l), 1/6 barrel kegs (5.17 US gal; 19.6 l) and 5.2 US gallons (20 l) "beer balls". Budweiser produces a variety of cans and bottles ranging from 7-40 US fluid ounces (210-1,180 ml). On August 3, 2011, Anheuser-Busch announced its twelfth can design since 1936, one which emphasizes the bowtie.[35]

Packages are sometimes tailored to local customs and traditions. In St. Mary's County, Maryland, ten ounce cans[36][37] are the preferred package.


The Budweiser bottle has remained relatively unchanged since its introduction in 1876. A small label is affixed to the neck of the bottle with the Budweiser "bow-tie" logo. The main label is red with a white box in the center, overlaid with a Budweiser logo resembling a coat of arms, with the word "Budweiser" below it.


The packaging plant at the Anheuser-Busch headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri

In attempt to re-stimulate interest in their beer after the repeal of Prohibition, Budweiser began canning their beer in 1936. This new packaging led to an increase in sales which lasted until the start of World War II in 1939.[38]

Over the years, Budweiser cans have undergone various design changes in response to market conditions and consumer tastes. Since 1936, 12 major can design changes have occurred, not including the temporary special edition designs.[39]

Budweiser cans have traditionally displayed patriotic American symbols, such as eagles and the colors red, white, and blue. In 2011, there was a branding redesign that eliminated some of the traditional imagery. The new design was largely in response to the huge decline in sales threatening Budweiser's status as America's best-selling beer.[40] In order to regain the domestic market share that Budweiser has lost, the company tried to update its appearance by giving the can a more contemporary look. The company hopes that the new design will offset the effects that unemployment had on its sales.[41] Although the more modern design is intended for young male Americans, the new design was also part of an attempt to focus on the international market.[39] Budweiser began selling its beer in Russia in 2010, and is currently expanding its operations in China.[41]

The beer

Budweiser delivery truck, Romulus, Michigan

Budweiser is produced using barley malt, rice, water, hops and yeast. The brewing happens in 7 steps: milling, mashing, straining, brew kettle, primary fermentation, beechwood lagering and finishing.[42] It is lagered with beechwood chips in the aging vessel. While beechwood chips are used in the maturation tank, there is little to no flavor contribution from the wood, mainly because they are boiled in sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) for seven hours for the very purpose of removing any flavor from the wood.[] The maturation tanks that Anheuser-Busch uses are horizontal and, as such, flocculation of the yeast occurs much more quickly. Anheuser-Busch refers to this process as a secondary fermentation, with the idea being that the chips give the yeast more surface area to rest on. This is also combined with a krausening procedure that re-introduces wort into the chip tank, therefore reactivating the fermentation process. Placing the beechwood chips at the bottom of the tank keeps the yeast in suspension longer, giving it more time to reabsorb and process green beer flavors, such as acetaldehyde and diacetyl, that Anheuser-Busch believes are off-flavors which detract from overall drinkability.[clarification needed]

Budweiser and Bud Light are sometimes advertised as vegan beers, in that their ingredients and conditioning do not use animal by-products. Some may object to the inclusion of genetically engineered rice[43] and animal products used in the brewing process. In July 2006, Anheuser-Busch brewed a version of Budweiser with organic rice, for sale in Mexico. It has yet to extend this practice to any other countries.

Budweiser brands

In addition to the regular Budweiser, Anheuser-Busch brews several different beers under the Budweiser brand, including Bud Light, Bud Ice, and Bud Light lime.

In July 2010, Anheuser-Busch launched Budweiser 66 in the United Kingdom. Budweiser Brew No.66 has 4% alcohol by volume, and is brewed and distributed in the UK by Inbev UK Limited.

In 2020, Budweiser introduced Bud Light Seltzer.[44] In August 2020, Bud Light Seltzers added grapefruit, cranberry and pineapple flavors,[45] to its original offerings of black cherry, mango, lemon lime and strawberry.[46] In October 2020, Bud Light Seltzers added Apple Crisp, Peppermint Pattie, and Gingersnap, [47] with the cans sporting "ugly sweater" designs.[48]

In July 2020, Budweiser introduced Bud Zero, which is its first alcohol-free, low-calorie, beer.[49] It has zero sugar, zero alcohol, and only 50 calories.[50]

Temporary "America" labeling

On May 10, 2016, Advertising Age reported that the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau had approved new Budweiser labels to be used on 12-ounce cans and bottles from May 23 until the November elections.[51][52] The name "Budweiser" was changed to "America". Much of the text on the packaging was replaced with patriotic American slogans, such as E pluribus unum and "Liberty & Justice For All".[51]

International production

Budweiser is licensed, produced and distributed in Canada by Labatt Brewing Company.[53] Of the 15 Anheuser-Busch breweries outside of the United States, 14 of them are positioned in China. Budweiser is the fourth leading brand in the Chinese beer market.[54]

See also

  • Beer Wars (2009), documentary film about the American beer industry
  • Ulterior Emotions (2002) - an album released by Anheuser Busch as part of their "Bud Light Institute" campaign


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External links

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