Why is it called Michelob?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

The name Michelob is derived from the German version of the name of the village of Měcholupy, which is located in northern Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic. The beer itself has Czech origins, which may come as a surprise to many people who associate it with an American brand.

The story of how Michelob came to be starts in the late 19th century. In 1876, the Anheuser-Busch company was founded in St. Louis, Missouri by German immigrants Adolphus Busch and his father-in-law Eberhard Anheuser. Adolphus Busch was known for his innovative brewing techniques and his desire to create high-quality beers.

During this time, there was a growing demand for European-style lagers in the United States. Adolphus Busch recognized the potential of these lagers and sought to create his own version. To achieve this, he looked to the brewing traditions of his homeland, Germany, as well as other European brewing centers.

One particular beer style that caught Busch’s attention was the Czech pilsner, known for its light, crisp, and refreshing character. The Czech Republic, or what was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was renowned for its brewing heritage and the high quality of its beers.

In his quest to develop a beer that would rival the European lagers, Busch traveled to Europe to study the brewing techniques and ingredients used in the production of these beers. It was during this time that he came across the village of Měcholupy in northern Bohemia.

Impressed by the beer produced in Měcholupy, Busch decided to name his new creation “Michelob,” after the German version of the village’s name. The name not only paid homage to the Czech brewing traditions that inspired him but also added a touch of European allure to his American beer brand.

Michelob was launched in 1896 as a draft-only beer, initially targeting upscale establishments and connoisseurs who appreciated its distinct flavor profile. Over the years, Michelob expanded its product line to include various styles such as Michelob Light, Michelob AmberBock, and Michelob Ultra, catering to different consumer preferences.

Today, Michelob remains one of the most recognizable beer brands in the United States, known for its smooth taste and superior quality. While its Czech origins may not be widely known, the name Michelob serves as a reminder of the brand’s European inspiration and the rich brewing history that influenced its creation.

Michelob is called Michelob because it was named after the village of Měcholupy in northern Bohemia, where Adolphus Busch, the founder of Anheuser-Busch, discovered the brewing traditions that inspired him to create this iconic beer brand.