ST. LOUIS – Archivists with the St. Louis Recorder of Deeds made a marvelous discovery of city history. On Thursday morning, the Archives Department found the original 1878 trademark for Budweiser and the beer brewery’s first label design.
“Today, the label on one of the world’s best-selling beers still contains most of the same elements of the trademark preserved in the Recorder of Deed’s archives,” said archives researcher Christian Naffiger.
The document, written in English, references its list of ingredients in German.
“Today, the German language has given way to English, but Budweiser still mentions the ingredients. In 1878, the two primary components were Saaz hops and Bohemian barley, today marketed as ‘the choicest hops, ice, and barley malt,’” Naffiger said.
The document was filed on April 3, 1878, and signed by notary public Edmund Schreiner and Recorder of Deeds D.H. McAdam.
The label is startlingly similar to the current logo on Budweiser beer bottles, with one notable exception.
The trademark was filed by Carl Conrad, a friend of Adolphus Busch. Conrad had discovered a new lager in what is the present-day Czech Republic. After returning home to St. Louis, Conrad named his beer after the town where he discovered the recipe. He established Carl Conrad & Co. and turned to Anheuser-Busch to brew and bottle the product.
Carl Conrad & Co. declared bankruptcy on Jan. 15, 1883. Anheuser-Busch acquired the rights to Budweiser that same year since they were one of Conrad’s largest creditors. The CCC remained on the label until 1920, however, likely out of respect for Conrad.