Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hluboka nad Vltavou, Cesky Budejovice; Budvar Beer; Budweiser

Update January 2012:  At first Budvar, Budweiser (CZ) won against others who would use its name.  Now, it seems to have lost.  American Budweiser, who adulterated the original formula, has already merged with Beck, Busch, Michelob, Goose Island and Stella Artois (do they really taste like European beer any more?); and wants to merge with the Mexican establishment owning Corona, see too big for one burp at   http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2013/02/01/Too-Big-to-Brew-Why-the-DOJ-Wants-to-Block-Beer-Deal.aspx#page1/ See Cindy McCain's interest and details at Beer and the Cities

Ceske Budejovice, or Cesky Budejovice.
 Its Budvar or Budweiser Beer
And its Castle
Beer Wars:  The Czech Old Real Budweiser
Took On the Additive-Laden Foreign Interloper, 
and the Old Real Won. BUDVAR

Here is a tale of two beers, a tale of a spunky town that faced down Anheuser Busch, a tale of marketing fairness. Update 12/2008 - the Czech Budweiser prevailed in the European litigation about who could use the name - the authentic, or the upstart. See National Post at www.://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/legalpost/archive/2008/12/16/this-bud-s-for-the-eu.aspxl and European Voice at://www.europeanvoice.com/article/2008/12/budvar-wins-bud-case/63434.aspx/

American Budweiser Out. European Budweiser In. At least, as to use of the name "Budweiser" in some European markets.  Then, visit the town itself.

I.  The Brewskis.

"Budeweiser" beer to Europeans means a beer with two pedigrees:

a) specific ingredient restrictions apply if a mugfull of the amber consoler is to be called "beer" - purity rules called "Reinheitsgebot"); and

b)  it has to be  made in the town in the Czech Republic called Budvar or Budweis - or Budejovice here. Names and their spellings vary with the phonetics, the linguistic roots being applied. They probably can have their breweries also in other places, but the Budweis town and the Budweiser name stemming from it are basic.

Names portraying origins are given Respect. The name cannot be used by just anyone, even if patented later elsewhere, under different laws. Because this beer is made in Budvar, or Budweis in German (recall the days of fluid boundaries, the overlap of languages depending on dominant influences), it is entitled to use the name "Budweiser." The brewer also wisely patented the name in Europe decades ago, after centuries of use.

Our Budweiser" beer (courtesy of USA's Anheuser-Busch) from the US meets neither requirement, so cannot be marketed at Budweiser in much of Europe - not made in Budvar, and some ingredients to not make the cut. See Joy of Equivocating, Beer and the Cities, Cindy McCain, Budweiser.

II.  The Town

The town is more than its beer.  See the castle here - begun at the time of Bohemian Wenceslas I, see Nationmaster Encyclopedia at ://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Wenceslas-I-of-Bohemia. Its renovations and additions continued to Gothic to Renaissance to Baroque to Neo-Gothic. See ://www.castles.org/castles/Europe/Central_Europe/Czech_Republic/czech.htm.
Many castles begin in the mists, then undergo so many architectural changes as fads come and go, and rulers come and go, that there is little semblance left of the earliest. Some sites do not mention Wenceslas I, but the early date seems to be 11th-12th centuries.

Hluboka Castle gardens, CZ

The exterior is so freshly redone, as to look new. Nearby is the town of Budweis, or Cesky Budejovice - Ceske Budejovice - home of Budvar Beer - Budweiser to you, see ://www.virtourist.com/europe/budejovice/index.html but no similarity in taste - very refined over there. We recall seeing some arrangement on using the name in both countries, US and CZ, but need to check. Pun pun. Excellent place to park and walk in the big square and eat. Always eat.

Budweiser and Americans:  Back to basics.

  • The American beer company is the origin of the fortune shared by inheritance by many, including Senator John McCain's wife, Cindy. See the Joy of Equivocating site above.
  • Taste test.  Budvar is indeed superior. Do your own scientific trials. Apparently there were years of litigating who could use the name "Budweiser" - the Budvars or not. And so the bottles of each show the separate identities. See ://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bud%C4%9Bjovick%C3%BD_Budvar for the story of Budejovicky Budvar, or Budejovice Budvar. American Budweiser has blitzed the advertising, however, so American Budweiser is popular, but to purists, it is not "beer" at all with its additives including, gasp, rice.

The site says that you find these additional names for the same European Budweiser beer in different countries:

1. US and Canada - Czechvar

2. Germany, the Czech Republic and UK - Budweiser Budvar

3. Rest of the world - Budejovicky Budvar

History.  The brewery was authorized by Otokar II in 1265. A longstanding tradition, still disputed as to trademark by late-name and seeky heirs in the US. Ah, capitalism and the rewards always to the deserving. See the history of the inheritance at ://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/MutualFunds/McCainsWifeControlsFamilysRiches.aspx

Compare the "Budweiser" style of brewing, with its additives, to the "Pilsner" style, from Plzn, the Czech Republic. Weep for the loss here, at http://morebeer.com/brewingtechniques/library/backissues/issue5.3/urquell.html

Hluboka nad Vltavou - Centuries of Renovations - Wenceslas I to Gothic to Renaissance to Baroque to Neo-Gothic

Hluboka Castle

Arrive in Prague, make your way south toward Cesky Krumlov, the medieval town that rivals (and surpasses) the German Rothenburg and Dinkelsbuh, we think, and see this on the way.

Many chateaux have early start dates, but undergo vast renovations through the centuries. That is so with Hluboka. Begins somewhere 11-12th Centuries.

One guidebook says founded by Wenceslas I; then this site says Premysl Otakar, see ://www.guidingprague.com/tour_menu/other_tours_CR/HlubokaCB. Need to see if they are one and the same - titles, earlier names, tracing can take time.

See the interior here at ://www.zamky-hrady.cz/1/hluboka-e.htm

Hluboka Castle Facade

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Prague - Jan Amos Komensky, "The Teacher of Nations"

Hear from the 17th Century:

"I led a wandering life. I had no homeland. I was constantly propelled from one place to another, never and nowhere did I find a permanent home."

Here is Jan Amos Komensky. Johann Amos Comenius; on a Czech korun.

He lived in Prague and other places including Heidelburg, Germany; educator, philosopher, writer, priest (Protestant), in exile after the re-Catholicization of Vienna reached the Czech nation.

Yet, he devised a school that advocated teaching through play; preschool work with the smallest pupils; that nations speak together (later a foundation in concept for The United Nations), and here he is - see http://www.radio.cz/en/article/25962.

The greater tribute to Komensky as a teacher - one who cares and not only reaches out, but is in position ready to grasp and help, is this depiction on on the reverse of the korun - see discussion at Bogomilia, Jan Amos Komensky.