Obviously, this was more about getting a piece of the pie than it was about poor beer quality (if a bad German beer exists, we have yet to find it!). Despite the fact that Budvar was created a hundred years later than the Brauhaus, it is today the largest brewery in the country and has the legal rights to sell its beer under the name "Budweiser" in most of Europe.
Enter America. In the mid-1870s, Czech breweries began exporting to the States, and in 1876, Anheuser-Busch began using the Budweiser brand for its lager. The combination of the exports and the American copycat led to a huge trademark dispute that ended in 1938 with Anheuser-Busch only being able to use the brand “Budweiser” in North America.
That ruling has since changed a bit, as Anheuser-Busch has been successful in entering the European Market. And the battle for rights to use the brand in Europe still continues today. This past decade saw Anheuser-Busch attempt to stop Budvar from using the name Budweiser in Europe, claiming they had filed for the rights 13 years before the Czech brewery.
Last year, a court ruled in favor of Budvar, and both will continue to compete against one another for the foreseeable future. Anheuser-Busch still owns the name in America, as Budvar sells its products under the brand "Budvar" and "Czechvar." The original Brauhaus beer is sold as "B. B. Bürgerbräu" in the States and as "Boheme 1795" in the UK.
Does this change your thoughts on "America's Beer?" Supporters of Anheuser-Busch have argued that "Budweiser" was the name of the style of beer coming out of the Czech Republic and that it was not a specific brand back in the late 1800s. We are sure that the Brauhaus and Budvar would disagree.