Decoded: Budweiser

Few beers are as quintessentially “American” as Budweiser. The lager has been around since the late 1800’s and its packaging and labeling have undergone – for the most part – only slight changes. Outside of the new bow tie car the look has been fairly consistent. In this edition of “Decoded,” we look at one of the most iconic beer cans of all time. Photo Source

  • 1. Top Banner: “This is the famous Budweiser beer. We know of no brand produced by any other brewer which costs so much to brew and age. Our exclusive Beechwood Aging produces a taste, a smoothness and drinkability you will find in no other beer at any price.”
  • 2. Anheuser-Busch Logo: The AB logo is surrounded by wheat and barley.
  • 3. Budweiser: Kind of like how Pilsner means “of the town Pilsen,” Budweiser means “of the town Budweis.” Budweis is located to the South of Pilsen and their beers most likely inspired Adolphus Busch. In most European markets, it is simply called “Bud” to avoid confusion and legal issues.
  • 4. “Brewed by Our Original . . .” : Up until 1908 this portion was written primarily in German. Eventually the company realized that most of its consumers could not read the language so they switched it to English.
  • 5. Eagles: Along with the red, white and blue colors, the golden eagles give off a sense of American patriotism. The eagle on the right used to be modeled after the famous German double-headed eagle but was changed after World War I.
  • 6. Genuine: Now cans just read “Genuine,” but this is actually shortened from the original labels which stated, “Only genuine as decreed by the courts.”
  • 7. King of Beers: Since the 16th century, the beer from Budweis has been referred to as “The Beer of Kings” because it was brewed in the imperial brewery of the Holy Roman Empire. Adolphus Busch had some fun with this and labeled Budweiser “The King of Beers.”
  • 8. The Can: Budweiser began canning in 1936. Before this, it was only available in kegs, 12 oz bottles, and quart bottles. One of the reasons for the creation of the cans was to spur interest after the end of Prohibition. The newest can model features a modern bowtie look to try and refresh the brand’s image and reverse declining sales. The new can actually only holds 11.3 oz of beer.