... a pivo voli nas

How to strike up a conversation with Europeans in the US: join in the complaints about top-loading washing machines and American beer. On the washing machines, point granted. The old saw that American beer is bad applies pretty much to the mass-marketed national brands, which are uniformly watery, flavorless, and pretty much only good for marinating beef (even then, a proper beer would be better). People with longer or tastier experience in the Statiunitima know that there are a lot of very fine small-production and local brews. Personally, I'm a fan of the products of the Ommegang brewery in Cooperstown, NY. Americans are moving away from the stereotypical product as well: domestic sales are stagnant, while imports are growing rapidly.

The most representative of the domestic mass-market bunch, and object of innumerable jokes (one of them involves canoes, but that is as far as I am going), is the flagship product of the brewery giant Anheuser-Busch, Budweiser (introduced in 1876). For over a hundred years, Anheuser-Busch has been in a trademark conflict with the Czech Budweiser Budvar brewery, which has marketed a far superior product under the same name since 1895. A-B claims exclusive rights to the Budweiser name, which kept the Czech product out of US markets for a very long time and may cause some easily resolved confusion in Europe.

Now Anheuser-Busch and Budejovicky Budvar have reached an agreement, whereby A-B (which already has marketing agreements with several international producers, including the Belgian giant InBev), agrees to market and distribute the Czech product in the US. It will continue to be sold under the deeply unsatisfying compromise name Czechvar.

It is one small step.


Anonymous said...

Too bad one can't get Sarajevsko here! As for top loading washing machines, I will never prefer the side loading type, since it requires one to bend with one's back bent at an awkward angle, or to squat in order to load the machine. Side loading dryers are bad enough and for the above mentioned reason, well so it goes. Everything can be done in radically different ways! I can get most of my clothes cleaner by hand than most machines get themn, I tend to resort to machines only for large articles like sheets, washable blankets and men's clothes, because men's clothes take too long to dry if washed by hand. In Summer months though, it's hot enough that I wash even those articles by hand as they dry quickly enough on the porch.

samarkeolog said...

I just wish you would export your micro-breweries' products (except those extra-strong ones aimed at people who don't want to be seen drinking Tennant's Extra). I remember He'Brew fondly, as well as Provo Girl and Polygamy Porter.

Eric Gordy said...

Ah, the beers with funny names! Worthy of a post of their own, I would say.