Top 10 beers of the world: #1 – Budweiser Budvar


There was only ever the one contender for world’s best beer – the original Budweiser Budvar, brewed in the Czech city of Ceske Budejovice. It looks, smells and tastes like a proper beer should do, and I’d be quite happy if I were told it was the only beer in the world.

Beer has been brewed in Ceske Budejovice since the 13th century – the term Budweiser refers to beer from Ceske Budejovice. It’s so good, it was supplied to kings throughout Europe, earning it the nickname “Beer of Kings”. No-one thought to trademark Budweiser (why would you?) or Beer of Kings – a decision that would cost dearly centuries later.

The American Anheuser Busch brewery liked the name so much, they stole it for their piss poor chav-beer, Budweiser. They even stole the slogan and turned it into King of Beers. Anheuser Busch has a massive legal team, and they’ve been wrangling with the Czech people for years now – the result is, in some countries Budweiser Budvar can only be called Budvar, and in North America it has to be called Czechvar.

There’s a lot I could say about Anheuser Busch and those who choose to drink American Bud, but as I say they have a massive legal team behind them and I don’t want them to close this blog down or put a price on my head.

In fairness, all Czech beers are pretty good. On my last visit to Prague in 2009 I struggled to find Budvar sold in many central pubs – no major hardship, as Staropramen, Gambrinus and Pilsner Irquell are always there to fall back on. Fortunately, the nearest pub to our apartment – U Kocoura (“The Cat”), on Nerudova in Malastrana – was one such pub so I could easily get my daily Budvar fix.

On that visit, we had planned to go on a day-trip to Ceske Budejovice so I could taste the best beer in the world in its natural habitat. About 160km south of Prague, I was really looking forward to experiencing another part of the Czech Republic. The city in southern Bohemia has a population of just under 100,000, and I’d read it has a massive old town square – the ideal place to sit down with a pint of Budvar and watch the world go by, I thought.

Unfortunately, we missed the bus there so went back to The Cat to drown our sorrows.

So there we have it, just to re-cap:

Top 10 beers of the world – #10 Hoegaarden (Belgium)
Top 10 beers of the world – #9 Zlatorog (Slovenia)
Top 10 beers of the world – #8 Bia Hoi (Vietnam)
Top 10 beers of the world – #7 Kölsch (Germany)
Top 10 beers of the world – #6 De Koninck (Belgium)
Top 10 beers of the world – #5 Guinness (Ireland)
Top 10 beers of the world – #4 Zlaty Bazant (Slovakia)
Top 10 beers of the world – #3 Kriek (Belgium)
Top 10 beers of the world – #2 Tsingtao (China)
Top 10 beers of the world – #1 Budweiser Budvar (Czech Republic)

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this list as much as I’ve enjoyed writing and researching it. As I could only feature beers from countries I had actually visited, this ruled out anything from Africa, Australia or the Americas. But let’s be honest – would any of these trouble the top 25?

There are a few beers that narrowly missed out on the top ten – Bitburger, Duvel, Singha and most Czech other beers – but stick to the top ten, and you can’t go far wrong.

Na shledanou!

Categories: Czech Republic and SlovakiaTags: , ,


  1. At first glance at the title I thought it was the American Budweiser! Hahaha. Glad I was wrong.

  2. Clearly, after just six short months of beer drinking, I have become far too attached to Pilsner and need to expand my beer horizons. I live about half an hour from the place that brews this and haven’t tried it yet! I promise I will.

  3. I can’t imagine any American beer making the top 10. I can’t disagree with your no. 1 and I do like that Czech beer fro Aldi! In Spain last week and I preferred the Estrella to the San Miguel but I also liked the Mahou. Have to own up to Stella Artois being my beer of preference here at home.

  4. No more San Miguel for me, either! I should try your no. 1, I guess. Supermarket, or will I have to go to the Czech Republic? (please say I will!)

  5. Great choice, it’s one of my favourites too. Would recommend James Boags and Little Creatures Pale Ale if you make it to Australia sometime (or found them both in Whole Foods Market in Cheltenham last week for the first time since I was out there, slightly less exotic though!).

  6. you missed out Tiger bitter from leicester

  7. Ahh Budvar! They serve this in our local – I shall be trying it next time we drop in. Great series Richard 🙂

  8. Hello!

    After a very inspiring top ten list I have nominated you for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

    Take a look at this:


  9. Shame you missed the bus! You will have to go back.
    It has been great following this list and a shame it is all over now! No more beer stories and factoids to look forward to.

  10. Svyturis Baltas from Lithuania is a must………..must be in the top 10

  11. An obvious choice actually. This one has to be on every top beer list in my opinion.

  12. Great post! I also rank the Budweiser in my tok 10 – with the other Czech beer Pilsener 🙂

  13. I rather choose san miguel beer..the best in pale

  14. Definitely Czech Budweiser is my Nr 1 too, when living in Germany bought it in bottles, unfortunately now back in Switzerland you only get it in cans, still a lot better than pissy Heineken, American Bud or any Austrian beer, cheers!

    • I did this list two years ago and a lot has changed since then, but Budvar is still up there for me. I’d include a few more German beers though – probably Augustiner and Hofbräuhaus. Cheers!

  15. Thanks,,very informative. Belgium seems to be the overall winner. I like Budwar, too, What abut Pilsner Urquell? Thanks also for liking

  16. Me as a Czech, I wouldnt really rate Budvar that high. The taste is kind of dull, nothing special. Unfortunately, its one of the most famous abroad, alongside with Pilsner or Staropramen. If you ever come to visit Czechia again I definitely recommend trying Únětický Pivovar, Svijany, Kozel. These are my most favourite because of the with unique taste. But unfortunately, they arent as popular as Budvar.

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