Budweiser, it’s undoubtedly the most valuable beer brand in the world. Furthermore, it’s one of the most drunken beers in the United States and holds a solid second position in the United Kingdom. However, not many people know precisely where this beer is brewed. Let’s have a look:
In the United States, Budweiser was first brewed in 1876 in St. Louis, Missouri. These days, the St. Louis brewery is the main brewery of Budweiser with a capacity of 18.25 million barrels per year, and the headquarter of Ab InBev in the United States. Furthermore, Budweiser is brewed in eleven other breweries throughout the United States.
However, that certainly doesn’t tell the whole story. Below, we’ll first provide you with the answer to when and where Budweiser was founded, where it was first brewed, and by who (in this article we talk more about how Budweiser is made). Furthermore, we’ll also have to explain an interesting part of history that explains why American Budweiser is different from European Budweiser. Finally, we’ll look at all the North America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Europe brewing locations. Read on!
Also, read our review of Budweiser in this article!
Where Was Budweiser Founded?
Budweiser’s brewery was initially founded in 1852 by George Schneider. He named the brewery the Bavarian brewery, located in St. Louis, Missouri. However, financial problems caused the brewery to switch owners multiple times throughout the 1850s.
In 1860 the brewery was almost bankrupt and bought by William D’Oench and Eberhard Anheuser. In 1869, William sold his half-interest in the company to Adolphus Busch. During the 1870s, Adolphus Busch toured the European Union, where he got the inspiration for Budweiser. The first American Budweiser was brewed in 1876 in St. Louis, Missouri.
Confusion Between Budweiser And Budweiser Budvar
Before we talk about where exactly American Budweiser is made, it’s essential to take away some confusion about the brand Budweiser. There are two kinds of Budweiser: the American one and the Czech Budweiser Budvar.
The Czech Budweiser Budvar can be considered to be the original Budweiser beer. This is because this region of Europe (which we would now believe being part German, part Czech) has been brewing Budweiser beer since 1265. This is because Budweis was a city in the Bohemian region, and the beer that was brewed there was referred to as Budweiser, which translates to ‘beer from Budweis’ in German.
These days there’s one European company that sells its beer as Budweiser. This company is called Budweiser Budvar and is located in České Budějovice, Czech Republic. The company was initially founded in 1895, but it originates from a larger beer brewing tradition spanning centuries.
What’s interesting to know here is that American Budweiser is based on the Czech Budweiser. Adolphus Busch, the founder of Budweiser, toured Europe in the 1870s and realized quickly how popular the local beer was. He aimed to make an American lager that resembled the Czech brew back in the United States.
Long story short, both companies have claimed to hold the name to Budweiser in different parts of the world. Ab InBev holds the rights to the name of Budweiser in most of the American continent, the United Kingdom, and Spain. In the rest of Europe, the Czech Budweiser Budvar is sold as Budweiser and the American Budweiser is sold as ‘Bud’.
Where Is Budweiser Brewed In The United States?
Now that you know the exact distinction between the American and European Budweiser, it’s time to have a look at the breweries that American Budweiser (and Bud Light) has. Let’s first look at the breweries in the United States since this is the country that drinks the most Budweiser by far.
- St Louis, Missouri: The flagship Budweiser brewery in the United States and, at the same time the United states headquarters of Ab InBev. This brewery opened for the first time in 1850 and is also the brewery where Budweiser was first invented. In 1875 the brewery had a capacity of 31,500 barrels per year, in 1881 that had increased to 200,000 barrels per year and in 1907 the production capcity was already at 1.6 million barrels per year. These days, the brewery has a product-line of 30 different brands and they produce 18.25 million barrels of beer per year.
- Newark, New Jersey: The second oldest Budweiser brewery in the United States. It opened in 1951 and is responsbile for brewing ten different brands of beer (including the American light lager Bud Light, Natural Light, and Busch Light).
- Los Angeles, California: Opened in 1982 and was the first brewery to brew Bud Light when it was first introduced. Nowadays, it brews more than 100 different brands that are owned by Ab InBev.
- Houston, Texas: Opened in 1966 and, at the time, had a capacity of 1 million barrels a year. These days, it’s capable of producing 14.2 million barrels per year.
- Columbus, Ohio: Opened in 1968 and originally had a capacity of 1.8 million barrels a year. Nowadays, the brewery has a capacity of 10 million barrels a year. It’s also one of the two Ab InBev breweries in the United States that brews non-alcoholic beer.
- Jacksonville, Florida: Opened in 1969 and brews 14 different brands of beer.
- Merrimack, New Hampshire: First opened in 1970 and brews 20 different brands of beer.
- Williamsburg, Virginia: Opened in 1972 and is responsbile for brewing 20 different brands of beers. Furthermore, this is also the faciltity where 400 different kinds of beer packaging are made for all brands sold in the U.S.
- Fairfield, California: Opened in 1976 and currently brews 20 different brands.
- Baldwinsville, New York: One of the largest breweries responsible for brewing 75 different beers, including Budweiser, that are owned by Ab InBev. The brewery has a capacity of 3 million cases of beer per year.
- Fort Collins, Colorado: Opened in 1988 and brews 33 different brands of beer.
- Cartersville, Georgia: Opened in 1993 and has a product portfolio of 20 different brands of beer (including Budweiser). It’s also the only brewery responsible for brewing Budweiser Heritage brands.
Where Is Budweiser Brewed Globally?
Now that we know that, it’s also good to know that Budweiser isn’t only brewed in the United Kingdom. Below, we’ll give an overview of the known Budweiser breweries that are located in other parts of the world.
In Canada, the Labatt Brewing Company is responsible for brewing Budweiser in Toronto, Canada. Labatt has been brewing Budweiser under license since the 1980s. However, the company was bought in 2004 by the Belgium company Interbrew, which later merged with other beer brewers to become Ab InBev. Therefore, Labatt and Budweiser are part of the same company.
United Kingdom And Europe
In the United Kingdom and Europe Budweiser is brewed by the Budweiser Brewing Group. This group brews Budweiser at two locations in the United Kingdom. From here, it’s either sold directly in the United Kingdom or exported to other European countries.
We were unable to identify a brewery in mainland Europe that brews Budweiser. Furthermore, I’m in Spain right now and the Budweiser that’s sold in the supermarkets here clearly states it’s made in the United Kingdom.
The first location where Budweiser is brewed is in Magor, Wales. The brewery has been operational since 1979 and brews Budweiser, Stella Artois, and Bud Light. The second location is the Samblesbury brewery in England. This one has been operational since 1972 and was originally built by Whitbread, which later sold its breweries to Interbrew in 2000.
The situation of Budweiser in Australia is a bit more complex. We do know for sure that, at least up until 2009, Budweiser wasn’t brewed in Australia but imported from the United States. However, it’s more likely that this practice continued up until 2016.
This is the moment when Ab InBev (owner of Budweiser) bought SABMiller (owners of Carlton & United Breweries). We know that this Australian brewery brewed Budweiser at least from 2016 onwards. However, in 2020 Ab InBev sold this brewery to the Japanese beverage group Asahi Breweries.
The most logical assumption to make is that this Japanese group now brews Budweiser under license in Melbourne, Australia.