PRAGUE – Budvar, the Czech brewer that has been in a long legal dispute with U.S. company Anheuser-Busch over use of the Budweiser brand, increased its beer exports last year despite the pandemic.
Budejovicky Budvar NP, a 126-year-old state-owned brewery, said Monday its exports were up a record 11% in 2021, reaching 1.3 million hectoliters (34.3 million gallons).
Budvar sells its beer in more than 70 countries. It said in a statement that all its major markets, including Germany, Britain and Slovakia, contributed to increased sales.
Specifically, the brewer’s sales in Germany surpassed 500,000 hectoliters (13.2 million gallons) for the first time.
Budvar previously said it registered a record output for the second straight pandemic year in 2021, rising 4.6% to 1.8 million hectoliters (47.8 million gallons).
Profit figures haven't been released yet.
The pandemic affected the beer markets with demand for beer in tanks and barrels declining as bars and restaurants were closed for some time while demand for bottled beer was on the rise.
The brewer has expanded in recent years to be able to produce more than 2 million hectoliters (52.8 million gallons) of beer a year. That investment helped it react to changes in the markets amid the coronavirus pandemic.