České Budějovice English: Budweis) is a statutory city in the Czech Republic. It is the largest city in the South Bohemian Region as well as its political and commercial capital, the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of České Budějovice, the University of South Bohemia, and the Academy of Sciences. It is located in the center of a valley of the Vltava River, at the confluence with the Malše.
České Budějovice, which is located in the historical province of Bohemia, is not to be confused with Moravské Budějovice in Moravia.
Budějovice has long been well known for the beer brewed there since the 13th century. For a time, the town was the imperial brewery for the Holy Roman Emperor, and Budweiser Bier (i.e. beer from Budweis) became, along with Pilsner from Plzeň, one of the best-known lagers. Brewing remains a major industry. In 1256 the Svitavy brewery was founded there, which was closed in 2002.
The largest brewery, founded in 1895, is „Pivovar Budějovický Budvar“ (Budweiser Budvar Brewery) which has legal rights to market its beer under the „Budweiser“ brand name in much of Europe. The same product is also sold elsewhere under the names „Budvar“ and „Czechvar“ due to legal disagreements with Anheuser-Buschover the Budweiser brand. The American lager was originally brewed as an imitation of the famous Bohemian original, but over time has developed its own identity and attained remarkable commercial success. Anheuser-Busch has made offers to buy out the Czech brewing company in order to secure global rights to the name „Budweiser“, but the Czech government has refused all such offers, regarding the Czech Budweiser name as a matter of national pride.
The oldest (founded in 1795) and second largest brewery was renamed to „Pivovar Samson“, replacing its original German name „Budweiser Bürgerbräu“ during the communist period. It also exported, mostly under the „Samson“ and „Crystal“ labels. Recently, they reacquired naming rights for Budweiser for Europe while offering „B. B. Bürgerbräu“ in the US since 2005.