Bud-Weis-Er. That familiar croak, first emitted by three animated frogs in a halftime ad during the 1995 Super Bowl, quickly became synonymous with good-ole-boys and the world's most popular American beer, Budweiser. Besides these lovable amphibians, Budweiser has spawned numerous pop-culture phenomenons in the course of selling itself, via characters like Spuds Mackenzie, Bud Man, and the “Whassup” guys. Memorable advertising campaigns such as these are nothing new to the King of Beers. In fact, in the world of beer, marketing and brewing have always gone hand in hand.

Budweiser grew out of the marriage of Adolphus Busch and Eberhard Anheuser’s daughter Lilly in 1861, when Busch began working for the Anheuser family’s brewery business in St. Louis, Missouri. Fifteen years later, Anheuser-Busch created Budweiser, one of the first light-flavored lagers in America. The term “Budweiser,” which is also a word for people from the Czech town of Budweis, was actually adopted by at least three breweries during the late 1800s. Generically, the name described any Bohemian-style lager, a type of beer that was much lighter in color and taste than most American beers at the time. In 1907, the breweries struck a deal that gave Anheuser-Busch exclusive rights to the name within the United States. Even then, branding was everything.

The introduction and subsequent popularity of Budweiser also coincided with advances in transportation and refrigeration technologies. When Anheuser-Busch was founded, most beer was sold in the local community where it was produced. In the early 1870s, though, Busch introduced an exciting new process at his brewery called pasteurization, which greatly increased the distance barrels of beer could be shipped before spoiling. In the following years, the company also adopted refrigerated railcars and strategically located ice houses to keep its beer fresh during transport. The company was soon able to ship Budweiser clear across the United States, making it the country’s first nationally distributed beer.

Anheuser-Busch was also an early adopter of inventive advertising methods to spread its brand’s visibility. For example, Budweiser was one of the first beverages to have individually labeled bottles, which helped differentiate the beer in small-town stores and taverns far from its source. Anheuser-Busch also produced novelty items to reward productive salesmen, distributors, and innkeepers. One particularly prized item from the early 1900s was a combination pocket knife and corkscrew bottle opener, many of which were given out by Adolphus Busch himself. The earliest versions of these folding knives came with carved bone handles and included a tiny Stanhope lens with an image of either Adolphus or the brewery mounted inside. Later versions were eventually made using nickel, brass, mother of pearl, and colorful enamel ornamentation.

During prohibition, Anheuser-Busch transitioned to non-alcoholic products in order to stay afloat. While Budweiser beer was out of production from 1920-1933, the company made soft drinks, medicinal malt tonics, ice cream, and Bevo, a non-alcoholic cereal beverage. After the 21st Amendment was passed, Budweiser resumed production, accompanied by a plethora of Budweiser signs, trays, bottle openers, and other promotional items. Lighted bar signs featuring the brand's iconic bowtie logo, as well as pool-table lights enclosing a rotating team of plastic Clydesdales, are among some of the most collected pieces of Budweiser memorabilia from the 20th century.

Anheuser-Busch released its first series of collectible ceramic beer steins in 1975—steins became an annual holiday tradition beginning in 1980. These heavy stoneware mugs usually depicted wintry forest scenes featuring the Clydesdale team of horses pulling a Budweiser wagon, although steins were also created celebrating the brand's association with NASCAR, football players, and, of course, characters of its own making such as Bud Man. The popularity of Bud Light, which was introduced in 1982 as a lower-calorie version of Budweiser, surpassed the company’s flagship brew as the top-selling beer in the U.S. in 2001, with a flurry of Bud Light signage and merchandise following in its wake.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Red Fox Chapter

Red Fox Chapter

The guys at the Connecticut Chapter of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America have created a full-on tribute to t… [read review or visit site]

Bottle Cap Index

Bottle Cap Index

Assembled by Gunther Rademacher with the help of several other contributors, this collection of over half a million… [read review or visit site]

British Beer Labels

British Beer Labels

This pre-1965 collection is organized alphabetically by brand and contains scans of seemingly thousands of beautif… [read review or visit site]

Plopsite.de

Plopsite.de

Norbert Lamping's collection of 600+ ceramic bottle stoppers, Hutter stoppers, swingtops, swivel stoppers, and ligh… [read review or visit site]

Bock Beer Labels

Bock Beer Labels

A quick tour of pre-Prohibition bock beer label designs with nice, high resolution scans. Do the whole slide show o… [read review or visit site]

Trappist Beers and Monks

Trappist Beers and Monks

An interesting site dedicated to Trappist beers and the history of the development of beer brewed by Trappist Bened… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

1980's Lighted Spuds Mackenzie Bud Light Lamp Dog Bar Sign Anheuser-buschRare 1907 Pre Prohibition Self Framed Budweiser Tin Sign 38" X 25 1/2"Leinenkugels Rare Ipl Tap Handle Only 6 Made Knob Miller Bud Coors Beer Man Cave1981 Budweiser Holiday Stein Christmas Mug Snowy Woodlands Cs50 Scarcest Stein1998 Large Framed Anheuser-busch Budweiser Wild Turkey Bar Mirror Beer SignLarge Budweiser Clydesdale Horses Light Spinning Rotating Display Globe BeerBudweiser Beer Wooden Crate VintageSpuds Mackenzie Bud Light Bar Mirror Sign 1986 Anheuser-busch Vintage Anhueser Busch Bud Light Neon Sign #803-121 27" X 21.5" Works12 Beer Tap Handles Lot Keg Brewery Coors Budweiser Elysian Busch Bud Light Splash Neon Beer Sign/30"x20"/new In Box!!!new In Box!!!!!!Antique Budweiser World's Champion Clydesdale Team Beer SignVintage Budweiser Beer Spuds Mackenzie Bud Light Lighted Sign Party Animal Dog1980 Budweiser Holiday Beer Stein Christmas Mug Cs19 First One In Annual SeriesVintage Anheuser-busch Inc. Budweiser Checkerboard Wood Crate 18 X 12 Beer Box New Budweiser Cowboy Beer Real Glass Neon Light Beer Lager Bar Sign 1981 Budweiser Holiday SteinBudweiser Bud Man Beer Tap HandleBudweiser Pewter Stein By Shirley Pewter ShopsVintage Budweiser Beer Bow Tie Neon Sign W/ Box, Bud - Mantle, Window DisplayThe 1st Three Budweiser Holiday Steins ( 1980, 1981 & 1982 ) - Mint Condition!Budweiser "1981" Holiday Snowy Woodland Beer Stein Cs50 Ceramarte2009 Budweiser Clydesdale Stable Stein Collectors 1st Edition Number 312/2,500Budweiser Beer 1981 Christmas Stein NiceNew Bud Light Beer Real Glass Neon Light Beer Lager Bar Sign Budweiser Budman Bud Man 30th Anniversary Stein Cs401 Mint In Box - Mib - CoaNew Budweiser Beer Gogo Dancer Real Glass Neon Light Beer Lager Bar Sign 1981 Budweiser Holiday Stein Christmas Mug Snowy Woodlands Cs50 Scarcest SteinBudweiser Beer Promo Party Tower System Speaker W/ Karaoke Tested (pickup Only)1980 Cs19 Budweiser Stein Mug Ceramarte Brazil 1st In Christmas Holiday Series Budweiser Beer Mirror Clock/bar Sign/eagle/king Of BeersBudweiser 1996 Centennial Olympic Games Collection SteinBud Ice Penquin Character Stein2001 Budweiser 125th Anniversary Pewter Collector's Club Membership Stein Cb20Ceramarte Budweiser Stein Snowy WoodsUfc Bud Light MirrorBudweiser 1980 Cs19 Clydesdales St Louis Mo Beer Holiday Champion Stein MugVintage Budweiser Beer Sign Clock Edge Light Clydesdale Horse Back Bar Display Vintage Light Up Budweiser Beer Bar Clock SignBud Light Budweiser Beer Summit Olympia Snowmobile Sled Snow Winter Mirror Sign 1981 Budweiser Holiday Stein Rare "snow Covered Birch Trees" Anheuser BuschBudweiser Stein 1981 Snowy Woodland Beautiful Vintage Fenton Glass Budweiser Clydesdale Wagon Bell1980 Budweiser Clydesdale Horse Fine Pewter Cheryl Keim Chilmark Statue Figure !Budweiser Rotating Lighted Clock & Mallard Duck Beer Sign2014 Budweiser Holiday Stein - Christmas Beer Mug New- Latest From Annual SeriesVintage1970 Budweiser Beer Lighted Famous Clydesdale Horses Team Beer Sign LightLight Up Bud Light SignVintage Budweiser Clydesdale Lighted Bar Sign-man Cave Extremely Rare-works!Vtg Budweiser Beer Mirror, Flushing Pheasant ( Old Bud Hunting Sign )Bud Light Neon SignVintage Bud Light Neon Light Up Bar SignBudweiser Neon Pool Table LightBudweiser First In Series Holiday Stein 1980 Champion ClydesdalesRare Vintage Budweiser Dancing Beer Can Wearing Headphones & SunglassesNew Bud Light Texas Beer Lager Real Glass Neon Light Beer Bar Pub SignBudweiser Stein, Cb18, King Of BeersBrand New Budweiser St Louis Cardinals Bud Beer Bar Large Metal Tin Tacker SignBudweiser Guitar Tap HandleRare Vintage 70s Budweiser Beer Fabric Hipster Shirt Pants Shorts Sheet Curtains