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Bitter Brew

The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America's Kings of Beer

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


“Bitter Brew deftly chronicles the contentious succession of kings in a uniquely American dynasty. You’ll never crack open a six again without thinking of this book.”
—John Sayles, Director of Eight Men Out and author of A Moment in the Sun

The creators of Budweiser and Michelob beers, the Anheuser-Busch company is one of the wealthiest, most colorful and enduring family dynasties in the history of American commerce. In Bitter Brew, critically acclaimed journalist William Knoedelseder tells the riveting, often scandalous saga of the rise and fall of the dysfunctional Busch family—an epic tale of prosperity, profligacy, hubris, and the dark consequences of success that spans three centuries, from the open salvos of the Civil War to the present day.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 22, 2012 –  This thoroughly researched and thoughtfully written book takes a look at one of the great American family and business sagas—the life and times of the Busch family of St. Louis, who dominated the U.S. beer industry over five generations. Former journalist Knoedelseder’s (Stiffed: The True Story of MCA, the Music Business, and the Mafia) begins in 1859, when Aldolphus Busch purchased “a tiny, bankrupt brewery that made bad-tasting beer on the banks of the Mississippi River” and transformed it into Anheuser-Busch, an estate “worth a staggering $60 million.” The bulk of the book then focuses on the next generations of Busch alpha males: August A., who survived Prohibition and made Budweiser into America’s first national beer brand; August Jr., best known as “Gussie,” whose purchase of the St. Louis Cardinals—providing “thirty thousand Budweiser drinkers held captive for two to three hours” each game—was “one of the best marketing teamups in the annals of American business” and solidified Anheuser-Busch as the largest brewer in the U.S.; August III, who introduced the company’s first truly streamlined business model, as well as the successful Bud Light beer; and the troubled and reckless August IV, who unsuccessfully fought to keep Anheuser-Busch from being purchased in 2008 by a foreign conglomerate for $52 billion, “the largest cash transaction in the history of American business.”

Customer Reviews

Great Story

Didn't know very much about the Busch family when I started, but this book really opened my eyes. I felt like the author was very fair in his interpretations. When he writes about the takeover, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to follow along, but he really did a great job of explaining things.

Well Done!

Amazing story that goes in depth of a world most all of us will never know or understand. The rise and fall of the Bush family and thus the company is tragic but the lessons are invaluable. Having watched (from the inside) a company grow to a fortune 50 size only to have the reins turned over to an "outsider", this story seems familiar. The story is compelling, the writing complete.

Fantastic read

Great read about a once great company

Bitter Brew
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Business & Personal Finance
  • Published: Nov 06, 2012
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 416 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

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