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Budweiser (Anheuser-Buschmarker) is an American-style lager and is one of the most popular beers in the United Statesmarker. Budweiser is made with a large proportion (up to 80%) of rice in addition to hops and barley malt. Budweiser is produced in various breweries located around the United States and the rest of the world. It is a filtered beer available in draught and packaged forms. In the USA, it has 5.0% alcohol by volume and 145 calories per 12 oz., except in Utah, Minnesota, Kansas and Oklahoma where a 3.2% alcohol by weight (4.0% by volume) strength is available due to state laws. Minnesotamarker and Coloradomarker require 3.2% alcohol by weight beer only at select public events and beer being sold in grocery stores and gas stations.

Name origin and dispute

In 1876, Adolphus Busch and his friend Carl Conrad, a liquor importer, developed a "Bohemian-style" lager, inspired after a trip to the region. Brewers in Bohemia generally named a beer after their town with the suffix "er." Beers produced in the town of Pilsenmarker (Plzeň), for example, were called Pilsners. Busch and Conrad had visited another town, only 104 km (65 miles) south of Pilsen also, known for its breweries: Budweismarker (or Böhmisch Budweis). Beer has been brewed in Budweis since it was founded as Budiwoyz by king Ottokar II of Bohemia in 1245. The name Budweiser is a locative, meaning "of Budweis."

Anheuser-Busch has a market share in the United Statesmarker of 50.9% for all beers sold. This is primarily composed of Budweiser brands. In 2008 Budweiser/Anheuser-Busch sold the majority of their stock to Belgian-Brazilian beer giant InBev, to create the largest brewing company in the world. The company's 2005 annual report cites figures which demonstrate Budweiser brands are proving to be quite successful in markets outside of the U.S. including Chinamarker, and Canadamarker, where Labatt Brewing Company brews and packages Budweiser and Bud Light for the Canadian market.

Budweiser is also widely available in Mexicomarker due to Anheuser-Busch's half-ownership of Grupo Modelo, through which Budweiser and Bud Light are distributed. In Irelandmarker, Budweiser is one of the leading lager brands; it is brewed, marketed, and sold by Guinness. Budweiser is also available in Italymarker, UKmarker, Brazilmarker, Argentinamarker, Finlandmarker, Germanymarker, Panamamarker, Paraguaymarker, Japanmarker, Indiamarker and Russiamarker because of partnerships Anheuser-Busch has with major brewers there.

Budweiser, under the name "Bud," is also available in Belgiummarker and is imported by Corsendonkmarker breweries and is distributed by Carrefour, the second largest retailer in the world.

Budweiser was recently launched in India, where it is slowly gaining market share from the leading Kingfisher, Fosters and Royal Challenge.


One of the Budweiser Clydesdales
Budweiser emphasizes humorous advertising campaigns, such as the "Real Men of Genius" radio and television commercials for Bud Light.

The Budweiser from Budějovice has been called "The Beer of Kings" since the 16th century. Adolphus Busch is said to have changed the slogan to "The King of the Beers". The Czech Budweiser is sold in some countries as "Budejovicky Budvar" but is known as Budweiser throughout.

Some Bud advertising campaigns have entered the popular culture in the United States. They include a long line of TV advertisements in the 1990s featuring three frogs named "Bud", "Weis", and "Er", and a campaign built around the phrase "Whassup?". The company is known for its sports sponsorship, video game sponsorship (Tapper), and humorous advertisements. Advertising campaigns have also included a nude Ganymede grasping a beer bottle and borne aloft by a bald eagle, lizards impersonating the "Bud-weis-er" frogs, and a team of Clydesdale horses commonly known as the Budweiser Clydesdales.

Budweiser has a vast presence in motorsports, from Bernie Little's Miss Budweiser hydroplane boat to sponsoring the Budweiser King Top Fuel Dragster driven by Brandon Bernstein. Budweiser has sponsored the CART championship, is the official beer of NHRA and was the official beer of NASCAR until 2007. Budweiser has sponsored top NASCAR teams such as Junior Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports and DEI . In 2008, Budweiser became Kasey Kahne's primary sponsor. Budweiser has also sponsored many races, including the Budweiser Shootout, and previously The Bud at the Glen, Budweiser 500, and Budweiser 400.

Budweiser is 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, taking over from rival company Carlsberg. Budweiser is also an official sponsor of the English Premier League.

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. Budweiser continues to use popular music in advertisements. Some commercials feature the song "Galvanize", by The Chemical Brothers.

In August 2009 the company partnered with popular Chinese video-sharing site, 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.

Containers and packaging


Over the years, Budweiser has been distributed in many sizes and containers. Through the early-1950s Budweiser was primarily distributed in just three packages—kegs, 12-ounce bottles and quart bottles. Cans were first introduced in 1936. From 1936 to 1955, cans were slow to catch on. In 1955, August Busch Jr. 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 have brought to market many new containers and package designs. Presently, Budweiser is distributed in four large container volumes: half-barrel (15.5 US gallons), quarter-barrel, 1/6 barrel and beer balls (5.2 gallons). In smaller consumption volumes, Budweiser is distributed in eight, ten, 12, 16, 22, 24, 32 and 40 US ounce containers. Smaller containers may be made of glass, aluminum or plastic.
Texas Budweiser

Packages are sometimes tailored to local customs and traditions. In St. Mary's County, Maryland, ten ounce cans are the preferred package. Budweiser drinkers in the western stretches of Ottawa County, Michiganmarker prefer the eight ounce can. This Ottawa County preference for the eight ounce can may stem from a long-standing blue law held in many Western Michigan cities that prohibit sale of beer and wine on Sundays. In response to this blue law, brewers and distributors presented the eight ounce can as a smaller alternative.

Budweiser has introduced many can designs with co-branding and sports marketing promotional packaging. Today, most of these promotional programs are represented only on the 16 ounce aluminum bottle container. However, many major league baseball and NFL teams also promote 24 ounce cans marked with team logos.


The Budweiser bottle has remained relatively unchanged since its introduction in 1876. The top label is red and currently reads "Budweiser". The top of the main label is red with a white banner with a pledge on it, which has changed three times. Below the banner is a coat of arms of sorts, which features an Anheuser-Busch stylization. Below that is a large white box.

Era Pledge Logo Beer title Top label
1870s 1 C. Conrad and Co. Budweiser Lager Beer Original Budweiser
Early 1900s 2 C. Conrad and Co. Budweiser Lager Beer Budweiser Reg U.S. Pat Off
1920s 3 Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Anheuser-Busch Budweiser St. Louis
1940s 2 Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Lager Beer Budweiser Beer
1950s 4 Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Lager Beer Budweiser Lager Beer
1970s 4 Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Lager Beer Budweiser
1980s 4 Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Lager Beer Budweiser
Today 4 Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Lager Beer Budweiser


Budweiser is brewed using barley malt, rice, water, hops and yeast. It is lagered with beechwood chips in the aging vessel which, according to Anheuser-Busch, creates a smoother taste. Rice is used to produce a "clean finish." 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 activating the fermentation process again. By placing chips at the bottom of the tank, the yeast remains 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.

While some drinkers prefer the lightness of beers like Budweiser and consume it as a refreshment or for its inebriating effects, some beer writers consider it to be bland.. The beer is light-bodied with faint sweet notes and negligible bitterness, leading to reviews characterising it as a " of underwhelming blandness". Based upon sales, however, it is the most popular of the American Style Lagers among North American beer consumers.

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

Anheuser-Busch was one of the few breweries during Prohibition that had the resources and wherewithal to convert to "cereal beer" production—malt beverage made with non-fermentables such as rice and unmalted barley and rye, and able to stay under the 0.5% limit established by the Volstead Act. Following the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, the major breweries continued to use unmalted cereal grains to provide the full body and mouthfeel of a "real" beer while keeping the alcohol content low.

Budweiser brands

In addition to the regular Budweiser, Anheuser-Busch brews several different beers under the Budweiser brand, including:

Bud Light

Budweiser's flagship light beer with 4.2% ABV and 110 calories per 12 ounce serving.


A version of Budweiser available in Europe. See Budweiser trademark dispute.

Budweiser Select

Budweiser Select, or Bud Select, a light pale lager that contains 4.3% ABV and 99 calories per 12 ounce serving. Anheuser-Busch aggressively promoted Budweiser Select. Its slogan was "The Real Deal". It hired Jay-Z as a spokesman for the brand. Bud Select is featured alongside Budweiser and Bud Light in most of the family advertisements and point-of-sale material.

Budweiser Select 55

A version of Budweiser Select that contains 55 calories per 12 ounce serving is "a direct counterstrike to Miller's MGD 64" according to Annheuser-Busch officials. Budweiser currently claims that it is the lightest beer in the world. The calories in both Miller's MGD 64 and Budweiser's Select 55 have been reduced simply by lowering the fermentables content. MGD 64 has only 2.8% alcohol content and Select 55 has an even lower 2.4%, by comparison, while most beers have around 5%.

Bud Ice

Introduced in 1994 as "Ice by Budweiser", it has more alcohol (5.5% ABV) than Budweiser. It is best known for an advertising campaign that involved a malevolent penguin that stalked Bud Ice drinkers and stole their beer.

Bud Ice Light

Introduced in 2007, Bud Ice Light contains 5.0% ABV and 115 calories. It undergoes fractional freezing, which Bud Light does not undergo.

Budweiser Brew Masters' Private Reserve

Budweiser Brew Masters' Private Reserve is an all-malt lager with a honey color and robust taste. It is based on a Budweiser brewmaster holiday tradition of collecting the richest part of the brew as it is tapped to the brew kettles to toast the holiday season."

Bud Dry

Bud Dry was introduced nationally in the U.S. in April 1990 with the slogan of "Why ask why? Try Bud Dry." It was originally successful in test markets and was expected to be a popular beer with the rise in light lager popularity. However, with the introduction of Bud Ice in 1994, Bud Dry wasn't as heavily marketed. It has declined in mainstream popularity and no longer receives commercial attention.

Bud Silver

An attempt to appeal to the tastes of beer drinkers in the United Kingdom, this specially brewed beer contains 4.1% alcohol by volume.

Bud Extra

A beer with caffeine, ginseng, guarana and alcohol. It contains 6.6% ABV as indicated on the label. It was marketed as a caffeinated malt beverage, similar to Sparks. On June 26, 2008, Anheuser-Busch announced that it would remove the caffeine and guarana from the beverage in response to concerns that the product was being marketed to consumers under the age of 21.

Budweiser/Bud Light Chelada

A blend of Budweiser or Bud Light and Clamato. This beverage became available nationally in late 2007.

Budweiser American Ale

American Ale debuted in September 2008. The beer claims to offer complex taste without much bitterness. Budweiser American Ale has a distinctive hoppy flavor. Budweiser American Ale is the first beer under the Budweiser name that is brewed as an ale (brewed with top-fermenting yeast) rather than a lager. The beer's darker color is a departure from the other Budweiser brands.

Budweiser NA

Non-alcoholic version of Budweiser developed for the Middle Eastern market. Also available in Green Apple and Tropical Fruits versions.

Bud Light Lime

Bud Light with lime flavor added. It has 116 calories. Released in May 2008.

Bud Light Golden Wheat

On October 5, 2009 Budweiser officially released Bud Light Golden Wheat, a response to the increase in the amount of golden wheat obtained from craft brewers around the country. This beer has 118 calories, 8.3 grams of carbohydrates and 4.1% alcohol by volume. It is an American version of the hefeweizen wheat which is based on German hefeweizen style beers. German wheat beers are also referred to as weizen ("wheat") aka hefeweisen beers.

See also


  1. Protz, R., The Complete Guide to World Beer (2004), ISBN 1844428656
  2. Beer Calories, Carbs, and Alcohol Content. Accessed 12 July 2008.
  3. Anheuser-Busch reports rise in Q1 sales, slight drop in profit - St. Louis Business Journal
  4. This Bud's for Zeus - Ganymede as poster boy for Budweiser Beer
  6. August Anheuser Busch, Jr. - Britannica Online Encyclopedia
  7. St. Mary’s celebrates 10-ounce beer
  8. Where the 10-Ounce Bud Is the King of Beers : NPR
  9. | Grand Rapids, MI | Sunday liquor sales in Holland begin
  10. | Grand Rapids, MI | Zeeland Considers Alcohol Sales
  11. Hops to lighten your step
  12. A Bud by any other
  13. Budweiser Select
  14. [1]
  15. Bud Dry is rolled out nationally - beer | Modern Brewery Age | Find Articles at

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