* Prices may differ from that shown
Don't let the name fool you, this beer is nothing like its inferior American counterpart! I always thought they were the same brand myself, until a friend introduced me to this far superior version a few years ago!
Budweiser Budvar, is a lager hailing from the Czech Republic, where it has been brewed from the late 1800s. It is available in a number of different versions, including Premium, Premium Dark, Pale, and Super Strong. Even though the image attached to this review is for some reason the Premium Dark beer apparently, I will be reviewing the regular Premium version.
Easily distinguised from its alternatives due to its classic Red Label, on a green bottle with a gold foil covered bottle cap, you can purchase it from the shops in a 500ml bottle for around £1.60, or in smaller 330ml bottles in 4 packs for around £4. In pubs, on draught, you are usually looking at around £3.30 a pint.
Budvar is a strongish beer at 5%, but it tastes stronger when you actually drink it. A few of them and you will know about it. It has a good body to it, and shouldn't really be drunk too quickly, as it tastes better sipped really. Much like my other favourite beer, Erdinger, it is another beer that still tastes good when it gets warmer.
It has a rich golden colour to it, and a medium size and thickness head. There is quite a rich, oaky taste to Budvar, and unlike other lagers including the American Budweiser, it doesn't taste chemically, or mass produced. It almost feels velvety in your mouth, and it is easy to appreciate the smooth richness of flavour as you drink it.
After a few of them though, there is a slight taste that begins to build up in your mouth - it isn't unpleasant, I think it is just an after effect of too much!
Budvar is a really classy, and misunderstood beer, that actually has a decent taste to it, unlike so many other premium lagers. It is a shame that people regard it as a relative of the American version, as they are a class apart from each other.
By the way, for those who like random knowledge, Budweiser is simply the German method of referring to something from the city such as a beer.
Brewed in the southern Bohemian town of České Budejovice since 1895, Budweiser Budvar is definitely not to be confused with its younger, inferior American namesake. Taking its name from the town of its birth - Budweis was the old German name for the town before Czechoslovakia was founded - Budvar has 31% of the Czech beer market and is exported to more than sixty countries on four continents. Locked in a worldwide trademark dispute with Anheuser-Busch for the best part of a century over the rights to the Budweiser name, it's known as Czechvar in the US, though you'll find both products trading under the same name in Britain. Be careful which you buy because there really is no similarity beyond the title. Although both my sons had been raving about Budvar for years I only tasted it myself on a long weekend in Prague last August. One of several excellent Czech beers - I'd highly recommend Bernard, Staropramen, Pilsner Urquell and Gambrinus as well - I tried, it's unfortunately a lot cheaper in its homeland than it is over here. I haven't seen it on tap in many places in Britain but it's on sale in bottles in an increasing number of pubs and you should be able to pick it up from any good supermarket. WHAT'S IT LIKE? As the temperature in Prague at the time of my visit was almost thirty degrees, I really needed something crisp and refreshing to drink in between being dragged around various overcrowded tourist sights by my youngest son. Golden in colour, slightly sweet tasting and wonderfully refreshing Budvar's real strength comes in its raw ingredients. The Saas hops from the Zamec region of North Bohemia are known as the best in the world, giving a slightly bitter taste after the initial sweetness. There are hints of fruit, and maybe a little vanilla. It's well carbonated without being gassy, has a nice head that isn't too big and has a lovely malt aroma that isn't overpowering. You get a ni
ce bit of lace around the glass and at 5% ABV it has a kick as well without being too strong. I fiund it went really well with the heavy Czech food but I've also drunk it back in Britain with curries and my Sunday roast both of which it accompanied very well. Overall Budvar is a very well balanced dry beer that is best served chilled and will leave you wanting more. Usually I'm not a big lager drinker but I found I was able to drink this for the best part of the day without feeling bloated or gassy. There's really nothing at all to dislike about this beer. On the other hand, the last time I drank the American version the only things I felt like doing more than once were belching and visiting the toilet. WHY YOU SHOULD BUY IT. Budvar is not only a lovely beer that's superior in every respect to the horrible ice cold, taste free 'King of Beers', it's also the underdog in a worldwide battle against a brewing giant that thinks expensive TV commercials are more important than tradition and quality. Buying 'Bud' when you could have Budvar is a crime. WEBSITE www.budvar.cz
There's nothing better than a cold bottle of Budweiser, er...Budvar, er...Czechvar....... This is the most famous of all Czech lagers and perhaps the classic example of it's style. The BUDWEISER brewery was founded in the town of Ceske Budejovice (Budweis in German) in 1895, using water from an underground lake. ----------------- WHAT'S IN A NAME ----------------- Anheuser-Busch first brewed Budweiser in St Louis in 1876 while the Budweiser Budvar brewery was launched in 1895. But for centuries previously, beers from the town of Budweis were known as Budweiser beers. The American giant, and Budweiser Budvar have been at loggerheads for more than a century. The Czech beer is sold in the United States under the name Czechvar, and in fact Britain is the only country where, following a court ruling, both beers are allowed to be sold as Budweiser. In some countries, such as Italy and Spain, where the Czechs registered their trade mark first, Anheuser-Busch has been forced to sell its beer as Bud. Anheuser-Busch lost a court case in London when it took criminal action against the importers of Budweiser Budvar, which claimed on the back label of the beer that it was the "original Budweiser". _____________________________________________ Apparently there is absolutely no truth in the rumour that the Clan McDonald is planning to sue a well known burger chain for blatant copyright theft. The present clan chief, Lady Wendy B.K. McDonald, and her son and heir, Max the large, are said not to care one tiny little bit. And nor should we. Incidentally, did you know that those caring, sharing folk at McD's sued a small cafe owner in Scotland that dared to use his own name (McDonald) above his shop. What are they like? _____________________________________________ --------- THE POUR --------- Budvar pours to a deep, bright, crystal
clear, golden colour, with a creamy white head, and a lively carbonation. The head is not particularly long-lasting, but it does leave a decent lace on the glass. The nose is crisp and clean, and very fragrant with Saaz hop aroma - somewhat like freshly cut grass. There is also plenty of crisp pilsner malt aroma, a little earthy smokiness and a faint tangy sweetness. ---------- THE TASTE ---------- The palate is fairly firm and crisp, with a good biscuity malt character and just a touch of creamy flavour. There's a lively mouthfeel with a rich malt sweetness initially, which leads on to a snappy, grassy, bitter hop bite. The hops are citrus and slightly fruity in their character and balance the brew nicely with their crisp dryness, and distinct herbal notes. The finish is relatively clean with a slight dryness and a herbal spiciness. ------------ THE VERDICT ------------ At 5% ABV, this is a good, very well balanced beer. It has a lovely smooth character that lends itself to easy drinking. It's perfect for a hot summer day - when sinking a few, nicely chilled Budvars would be thoroughly refreshing. Of course, here in Scotland, hot and summer are not words usually placed in the same sentence. Never mind that though, it hasn't stopped any of us drinking cold beer before and I expect it never will. How does Budvar Budweiser compare to the more well known Anheuser-Busch Bud? One is posh and the other is pish. The latter does make good TV commercials though. Thanks for reading, Sláinte
What's this entry doing under Czech Republic? Budweiser? That's American. It should be under the USA. And what's this Budvar bit? I don't recognise that. Got to be a mistake! I'll write to Monica and let her know. Steady on tiger. This entry is perfectly correct. Budweiser has far more to do with the Czech Republic than anything the US has to offer. After all, the name Budweis is the German version of the Czech name Budvar, the name of the principal town of that major beer producing region in what used to be known as Czechoslovakia. Beer of the Budweiser style has been produced here for 7 centuries. Produced from only the finest ingredients. According to the label on a bottle of Original Budweiser Budvar Czech Premium Lager, the only ingredients used are "...finest Saaz Aroma Hops, carefully selected Moravian Malt and soft water drawn from wells 300 metres deep...". You will notice that the emphasis is on quality. No make-weight ingredients like rice or maize here. Since when was real beer ever made from rice for goodness sake! Saki maybe but then that isn't beer. Budweiser Budvar is produced by Budejovicky Budvar. This splendid little brewery is locked in a titanic David and Goliath battle with Anheuser-Busch, the American mega-corporation, for the right to use the Budweiser name, all around the world. Here in the UK we have granted both organisations the right to use the name. Let the choice be purely on the quality of the product. I'm sure most people will at some time or other have drunk a Bud. What did you think of it? Bland? Certainly that's my impression. Usually served far too cold, often headachingly cold. True, a lager should be served chilled but if I want in ice lolly I'll ask for one. Now try a Budweiser Budvar. It is widely available, unless the pub is one that has an exclusive agreement to serve only Bud. W
hat do you notice? Wow, it actually tastes of something! A wonderful soft hoppiness that balances perfectly a lovely, slightly sweet maltiness. And you can still smell the fresh-bread yeastiness, even though the beer is filtered to brilliant clarity. But this is no weakling of a beer. It weighs in at a full 5% alcohol so be careful how many you drink. This is how lager was meant to be. OK, so it's a bit more expensive than Bud but this really is a case of you get what you pay for. If you don't very much care what you pour down your throat so long as it's wet, cold and cheap then Bud is for you. If you care about what you drink; if you feel that a drink should have a flavour; if you thank that the price is not the main consideration when judging a beer, then Budweiser Budvar is the beer for you. So next time you're in a pub and the barman asks you what's your poison, stop and think and say, "I don't really want poison, I'll have a Budweiser Budvar". And if he replies, "You mean a Bud?", you'll know you're in the wrong place.