Budweiser Is Launching Ukrainian Beer

by TK Sanders
(Photo credit should read GENYA SAVILOV/AFP via Getty Images)

AB InBev, the mega-brewers responsible for classic beers like Budweiser, will launch a Ukrainian beer in the UK. The beer conglomerate will donate profits to charity, according to Yahoo.

Beer brand Chernigivske already exists in Ukraine and is one of the most popular drinks in the country. Budweiser wants to bring the beer to UK pubs, restaurants, and retailers at the end of April as an act of solidarity. Organizers hope to raise $5 million for humanitarian NGOs.

“Chernigivske has been enjoyed by generations of Ukrainians,” reps at Budweiser commented. “As a brewer, we can use our daily interactions with consumers to bring this beer to market and enable consumers to support humanitarian relief efforts.”

Chernigivske is named for the city of Chernihiv in northern Ukraine, where the beer originates. Cities like Mykolaiv and Kharkiv, which have both sustained heavy damage during the Russian invasion this year, now account for most of the Chernigivske brewed in the country.

On Tuesday of last week, over 30 people died after a Russian rocket struck an office building in Mykolaiv, a southern Ukrainian city. Likewise, in Kharkiv, the Russians have reportedly destroyed over 600 buildings. Kharkiv is the second-largest city in the country behind Kyiv and sits just 25 miles from the Russian border.

Budweiser now has the resources to pull off a major charity initiative, but it wasn’t always the “King of Beer”

When German immigrant Adolphus Busch arrived in the United States in 1857, he met and married Lilly Anheuser. Shortly afterward, Busch began working in his father-in-law’s brewery. The family officially named the brewery Anheuser-Busch in 1879, and then got to work trying to perfect the art of mass production in an era without many food and drink technological advancements.

Thanks to innovations in pasteurization technology, Budweiser originally fashioned itself the “king of bottled beer” because it could reliably ship product across the country without risk of spoilage. Whereas most breweries relied exclusively on draught kegs for transport, Budweiser could bottle and sell directly to consumers easier and more efficiently. The reputation lasted throughout Prohibition in the 1920s, as Budweiser continued to dominate the bottled market.

A few decades later, Budweiser faced a dilemma. Aluminum cans were quickly replacing glass as a more cost-effective and consumer-friendly means of beer delivery. But a multi-decade slogan hung in the balance, as did the clout that came with it. So what did Budweiser do? They famously tweaked the tagline to what consumers still know today: the “King of Beers.”

About 50 years after the slogan change, Budweiser had to admit defeat once more. By 2001, their flagship brew no longer owned the top spot in domestic consumer sales. Which beer had unseated the King? Bud Light, of course.