By David Hansen   Published Jan 07, 2002 at 4:38 AM

One of the world's most renowned beers is now available here in Milwaukee for the first time. Czechvar Premium Czech Lager was introduced in September 2001 to anxious beer lovers all over the USA.

This beer has a very unique history. Originally named Budweiser Budvar, it hasn't been sold under it's original name in most parts of the world because of trademark restrictions imposed in 1939 by America's largest brewer Anheuser-Busch. The story goes that when Adolphus Busch toured Europe in the late 1800's to study the newest brewing technique of the day, lagering, he was very taken with beers from a town in southern Bohemia called Budweis in German, or Ceske Budejovice in Czech.

Because of his fancy for beers from this town, upon returning to the US, he decided to name his flagship lager beer Budweiser in 1876. Mr. Busch also had the foresight to trademark that brand name throughout most of the world, especially North America. Even though it's taken a long while to arrive because of the trademark dispute, this delicious beer has finally found it's way to Milwaukee, and it really doesn't matter under what name it is sold, it's the beer that counts.


Czechvar is a deep golden color and pours into the glass with a beautiful frothy head. Notice the bubbles are very compact allowing the foam to rise high above the top of the glass. It has a delicate floral hop aroma and a rich malty nose. This is quite different than another famous beer from the Czech Republic, Pilsner Urquell which has an almost overpowering hop aroma.

The key to the drinkability of Czechvar lies in its balance. Superbly well balanced with a medium hop bitterness and full malt body, without being too strong. This Bohemian lager is more closely akin to a Munich style beer than a Pilsner style, but a little sweeter, very well rounded and clean on the palet. It's simply delicious.

Czechvar Lager is brewed today at the BBNP Brewery in Ceske Budejvice, Czech Republic. The brewery was founded in 1895 and is currently owned by the Ministry of Agriculture in the Czech Republic.

Because it is a lager, it is bottom fermented for over three months, which helps create its smooth character. Czechvar is 5% by volume and is available in a six pack for around $7. It is also available in single 500ml bottles for around $2. Try sampling Czechvar and Pilsner Urquell together and compare these two wonderful beers from Czech Republic. Prosit!