England’s Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has launched a campaign to keep Budweiser Budvar from falling into the hands of a global brewing company. Visitors to this week’s Great British Beer Festival in London will be asked to sign a petition to be sent to the Czech government.
CAMRA maintains that privatizing the Czech brewery, now owned by the state, could lead to the loss of one of the world’s most authentic lagers.
Despite a decision in 2001 to exclude Budejovicky Budvar, from privatisation, Czech ministers have been discussing the future of the brewery and privatizing it. CAMRA claims that, if the brewery is put up for sale, it is likely to fall into the hands of Anheuser-Busch or another global brewer such as Scottish & Newcastle or Interbrew.
Mike Benner, Head of Campaigns and Communications said, “The success of Budweiser Budvar is a remarkable story. Despite being dragged through courts across the globe in its ongoing tradename battle with US brewing giant Anheuser-Busch, which owns the American Budweiser beer, the company has gone from strength to strength. In this day of inferior, bland contract-brewed lagers, Budvar is unique and it is essential that this brewing gem doesn’t fall into the hands of a global predator.”
“To Anheuser-Busch the Budvar tradename is a very valuable commodity,” Benner said. “Should the company fall into their hands, they may close the brewery, axe the beer and sit back while the American Budweiser dominates the world. A-B has done it before.”
A-B and Budejovicky Budvar have been in courts around the world in disputes over who owns the rights to the name Budweiser, Bud and other variations. That’s one of the reasons that the Czech Bud is sold as Czechvar in the United States.
Visitors to the GBBF, where Budweiser Budvar will be on sale will be asked to sign a petition to the Czech government urging it not to sell Budvar. CAMRA will present the petition to Ministers during a
campaigning visit to the republic planned for the autumn. CAMRA also as an online petition.