The direct predecessor of the Budweiser Budvar brewery as a national enterprise was the Czech Share Brewery. It was founded in 1895 and its activity directly related to the historical tradition of brewing of beer in České Budějovice which dates back to the 13th century when the town was founded chartered for brewing rights.
In the 19th century České Budějovice was a town of mixed nationalities. However, the economy was controlled by enterprises owned by the German part of the population. As a former election order distinguished electors according to property and the level of paid taxes, the Czech people did not have any representation in the Town Hall in Česke Budějovice despite their majority. To be able to participate in policy, the Czech people had to strengthen their economic positions.
Therefore, in the last third of the 19th century, “Czech” enterprises were established. One of them was theCzech Share Brewery – the direct predecessor of Budweiser Budvar. The initiative for its foundation came mainly from Czech brewers (August Zátka and many others). The Czech Share Brewery produced the first batch of beer on 1th October 1895. Up to the end of 1896, sales of beer repersented 51,100 hectolitres of beer. Today, the annual sale of beer represents a million hectolitres of beer. Despite great growth in the volume of production, the traditional quality and typical flavour of Budweiser Budvar remains the same to this day.
In the competition with German Měšťanský brewery and two Schwarzenberg breweries in Třeboň and Protivín, the Czech Share Brewery always won due to its high quality and the excellent flavour of its beer as first awarded in 1896 in the Industrial Exhibition in Prague. In the beginning of the 20th century ,lager from the Czech Share Brewery was also very well known abroad.
Since the period of its foundation the brewery has undergone permanent modernisation. In 1922 the first artesian well was bored and after some further time an additional two artesian wells were also bored. The brewery achieved the source of high quality water which helps create the excellent flavour properties of the original Budweser lager up to the present day. Since the 1920s the brewery have won market share in every continent, hence the brewery registered trademarks “Český budějovický granát” (Czech Budějovice Garnet), “Budweiser bier”, “Budbräu” and others. In 1930 the trademark “Budvar” was registered which became in a short time the synonym for high quality. In accordance with this registered trademark the brewery changed its name in 1936 to Budvar – Český akciový pivovar České Budějovice.
During World War II the brewery was under Nazi administration and was nationalized after the War.. In 1967 an independent legal subject was separated from the former South Bohemian Brewery, Budweiser Budvar, national enterprise. This enterprise oriented its activity mainly to export based on tradition, valuable registered trademarks and quality of beer. Further significant development of the enterprise on the domestic market and abroad came after 1989 when in just several years the present management managed to increase sales of beer by almost double.
The national enterprise of Budweiser Budvar is today a modern and active company built on a strong foundation. The brewery has managed the strong struggle with competition that is supported by supra-national concerns. At present it is the last of the large breweries which has exclusively Czech capital. Due to the excellent economic results the enterprise can invest large funds into its development. Part of the profit is directed each year into the support of culture, education and the health system, in particular in the South Bohemia region. The evidence of the dynamic and personal relation to lovers of Budweiser Budvar are the new products regularly introduced by Budvar onto the market.
In 2004 it was Budweiser Budvar dark lager, in 2005 it was the modern and practical package of draught beer in cans. In autumn 2005 the replacement of 0.5l bottles was performed for the whole product range. The original brown NRW bottles were replaced with modern and top quality packages – elegant green bottles of the ALE type.
Each year more than 40,000 tourists visit the brewery who can see the production of beer and can also taste it directly in the lager cellar. The multimedia presentation, the “Story of Budweiser Budvar beer” shows the history and presence of České Budějovice beer through plasma screens and 3D film projections.
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