Germany’s Spiegel Online uses the occasion of the Czech-U.S. World Cup soccer match to pit American Bud vs. Czech Budweiser. We’ll warn you now the beer matchup didn’t go any better than the one on the pitch – the headline reads: “Czechs on American Bud: It’s Missing the Taste of Beer.”
Our story begins in the narrow streets streaming from the Gelsenkirchen main train station. Packed with well-sauced fans in the red, white and blue, there was nary space to move as I hustled around trying to procure a six pack of Czech Bud. After unsuccessful tries up and down the “downtown” of this fading former mining city, I hit upon a dwindling stash in a side-street supermarket.
A lifelong drinker of the American version of Bud, US fan West Interian’s palate is hardly what one might call discerning. But on a hot afternoon, in a town who’s name every one seemed to have trouble pronouncing, Interian became a convert.
“I’ve drunk Bud my whole life, and this tastes better,” he said after a gulp or two. Then he paused. “Hell, this is warm, and it tastes better. Try this, Rex.”
Rex Corbett grabbed the modest green bottle: “Hmmmm, that is good,” Corbett agreed. The bottle never made it back to Interian.
And Cox News Service offers a report from Munich:
In the cavernous back room of Munich’s famous Augustiner beer hall, Heiko Hofrichter sits at one of the long wooden tables, takes a sip of his thick brew, and explains why German soccer fans just can’t swallow the fact that America’s Budweiser is the official beer at World Cup stadiums.
“For Germans, Bud tastes like watered down beer. It’s not beer,” complained Hofrichter, 24, a graduate student from the city of Nuremberg.
“It’s Spuelwasser!” cried Robert Paustian, 32, from another table in the boisterous beer hall, using the German word for dishwater.
Not everybody was quite so unkind. Back to the report from Spiegel:
“It (American Bud) is quite good,” Vladimir Herink, of Prague, will tell me later during half-time. But by then, of course, the blazing hot sunshine had done its damage. “It’s good for this occasion,” he said adding a decisive qualifier to his first statement. “We’re quite thirsty, you see.”
Of course, unlike the Americanshe wasn’t crying in his beer.