Budweiser is the American lager brand, as well as the flagship brand of the Anheuser-Busch company – the biggest beer producer in America. Budweiser is also one of the oldest beer brands in this country, which is why it’s almost engrained into the American culture.
Meaning and History
Budweiser has been first sold in 1876. The people who founded Anheuser wanted to introduce Czech lagers into their assortment, and it’s partly why they called this beer ‘Budweiser’. It basically means ‘from Budweis’, and Budweis was a major beer-making city in Bohemia (now Czech Republic).
1876 – 1942
The beer was initially sold with these ‘labels’. Unlike the modern ones, these explained what you’d but in great detail. In practice, it was a piece of fancy paper with lots of words describing the product. The heading (and the largest part) was the ‘Budweiser Lager Bier’ written in cursive black letters.
There were also many more German phrases below, and they basically amount to how and where it was brewed.
1910 – 1945
The 1910 label was the same conceptually, except this one was colored (the first instance of them using the color red) and written in English. It was now a white space inside a red card. All the text was written in black over that white segment, while the red outer layer had the Anheuser symbolic above and the words ‘Genuine’ on each side.
1945 – 1987
In 1945, the thing was remodeled, although the layout was very similar. They changed the text a bit and changed proportions to more vertical rather than horizontal.
1952 – 1957
In 1952, they introduced the first proper logo – the scale-like image with a deep blue outer line and the red innards. Inside, they had the brand’s name itself, followed by the now-iconic slogan of ‘King of Beers’ (it was used ever since 1910). These were then crowned above by a small Anheuser symbol of ‘A’ with an eagle in it.
Both the inscriptions and the Anheuser emblem were white.
1957 – 1961
In 1957, they took the existing emblem and put it inside the black rectangular confines instead. The shapes inside were supplanted with a central bowtie-like red shape (the ‘Budweiser’ was in it) and several green and yellow (the colors of hop and beer) triangles above and below. Naturally, there was also a red Anheuser eagle in the blank space.
1961 – 1963
In 1961, they decided to get rid of the triangles and the Anheuser symbol. The bowtie was still there, but it was now surrounded by the vertical oval-like shapes of blue and brown. Naturally, they had to elongate the frame vertically to accommodate the new elements.
1963 – 1968
The dark frame persisted, but this time they narrowed it back down and filled it with just the word ‘Budweiser’. That being said, it was now comprised of differently-colored bright letters that were also skewed into different directions. In short, the new logo looked childish.
1968 – 1987
In 1968, they opted to just use the red bowtie with the white brand name inside it, just like before, except with weird shapes all around it.
1987 – 1994
In 1987, the designers decided to roll it away from the onlookers, which gave it a lot of volume and depth, as well as dark shadows beneath each letter and the red shape alike.
1994 – 1999
The 1994 saw the return to the normal perspective again. This time, they changed the writing. The name word became notably bigger and also tilted to the right just a bit. Also, below the main piece they put the words ‘Biere’ and ‘Beer’ in all red capital letters, separated by a dot.
The reason behind it was likely their desire to sell more beer in Canada, which is why they put the same word in French and English.
1996 – 1999
The 1996 logo was an experimental new logo that featured many red rectangles of various sizes overlapping one another, with the biggest one put right in the center. And that’s also where they put the name, although the new slogan of ‘Classic American Lager’ had to be squeezed in one of the bottom segments.
The top segments, however, accommodated the Anheuser-Busch eagle again; although this time they put one in the middle of a green circle (full of hops) and surrounded it by wheat ears.
The entire structure was also heavily outlined with deep blue.
1999 – 2011
Several sharp changed happened here. They took the usual long-time logo, but skewed it to the right. They did the same with the letters inside, although they also took on a new cursive look, as well as grew in size (they now extend over the bowtie boundaries. The bowtie itself was given a new neon look with lots of stripes and shifting colors.
Lastly, the golden crown was added above the logo proper.
2011 – 2016
In 2011, they slightly removed the gradient, but added more volume instead. That resulted in the letters being turned form 2D white to 3D silver, while the bowtie received a new silvery frame, as if it’s a car badge.
2016 – today
Since 2016, they mostly used the same logo as before, except without any volume, glint, shading or additional colors other than just red and white. It’s now the same logo, except plainer and without excessive elements.
Emblem and Symbol
There are many more variations of using these logos. Primarily, they vary heavily from bottle to bottle and from type to type. Some simply take the ordinary black brand name and put it onto the blank space in the middle of the can/bottle. Some subtypes, like Budweiser Budvar, have their distinct logos.