Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America's Kings of Beer Hardcover – November 6, 2012
Excel 2016 For Dummies Video Training
Discover what Excel can do for you with self-paced video lessons from For Dummies. Learn more.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
“As the Busch family goes, so goes America. Bill Knoedelseder has taken their multi-generational saga and boiled it down into a heartfelt, hilarious ode to beer, baseball and business.” (Michael London, Academy Award-nominated producer of "Sideways")
“A great American story told as well and it could be told. I’ll never drink a Bud the same way again.” (Larry Leamer, bestselling author of the Kennedy family trilogy, The Kennedy Women, The Kennedy Men and Sons of Camelot)
“An engrossing behind-the-scenes look at one of America’s most successful and familiar brands.” (Kirkus)
“[A] thoroughly researched and thoughtfully written book.” (Publishers Weekly)
“…well-written, and thoroughly documented company history…VERDICT A real-life family saga, this book is full of domestic and company details, some of which are sordid, others commendable. Recommended for readers interested in the backstory behind the King of Beers.” (Library Journal)
“An engrossing saga of the Busch family, one of the wealthiest, longest-lasting, and most colorful family dynasties in the history of American commerce.” (USA Today)
“[I]ntoxicating reading... This is a lurid, fascinating tale, which narrowly escapes the charge of being sensationalist thanks to its factual grounding and the significance of its subject-a family business that managed to dominate an industry but could not get its own dysfunction under control.” (Wall Street Journal)
“[An] engaging narrative.” (Daily Beast)
From the Back Cover
The engrossing, often scandalous saga of one of the wealthiest, longest-lasting, and most colorful family dynasties in the history of American commerce—a cautionary tale about prosperity, profligacy, hubris, and the blessings and dark consequences of success.
From countless bar signs, stadium scoreboards, magazine ads, TV commercials, and roadside billboards, the name Budweiser has been burned into the American consciousness as the "King of Beers." Over a span of more than a century, the company behind it, Anheuser-Busch, has attained legendary status. A jewel of the American Industrial Revolution, in the hands of its founders—the sometimes reckless and always boisterous Busch family of St. Louis, Missouri—it grew into one of the most fearsome marketing machines in modern times. In Bitter Brew, critically acclaimed journalist Knoedelseder paints a fascinating portrait of immense wealth and power accompanied by a barrelful of scandal, heartbreak, tragedy, and untimely death.
This engrossing, vivid narrative captures the Busch saga through five generations. At the same time, it weaves a broader story of American progress and decline over the past 150 years. It's a cautionary tale of prosperity, hubris, and loss.
Top Customer Reviews
August III didn't take prisoners. We all knew success was richly-rewarded, but one screw-up and we were out. Anyone who didn't know Anheuser-Busch Co. was dominated by a locker-room mentality simply wasn't paying attention. For all his bullying, August demanded as much of himself as any of his executives. In doing so his unrelenting focus on the U.S. market blinded him to the worldwide changes, just as August. Jr., "Gussie," had lost touch with changes in his time.
What August III did to Denny Long and Jetty Ritter was unforgivable. Denny's story alone would be far more interesting.
August IV was a self-indulgent, drug-abusing, world-class screw-up - a Midas in reverse. I believe August III came to appreciate both his son's shortcomings and his company's vulnerabilities far too late to do anything about it, held out for the highest price, and cashed in his chips.
The greater story is one of arrogance; arrogance of wealth, arrogance from political-power. The Founders hoped in their drafting of a Constitution and Bill of Rights to place limits on excessive political power. While the record of the U.S.Read more ›
As a longtime beer geek I enjoyed this more than I expected. I should have disliked it, largely because I expected to be reading about the beer industry and instead ended up reading about a quirky, unusual family. Didn't matter, though, because their story was so compelling I didn't CARE that my expectations were thrown off.
If you want a book on the beer industry, this one is fairly light (though there is some worthwhile material here), but if you want a book on the rise and fall of American royalty, this is it.
The Busch family members who ran the brewing company were quite colorful, particularly Gussie Busch, making this quite an interesting book. Not dry at all. Loved it!!
The story is exactly what you expect it to be, how an immigrant family came to create, execute and dominant the brewing industry. Certainly it's the inevitable end that we all know about, but the real story lies in how it remained so successful for so long. It's laid out in chronological order (minus the first chapter) and we meet and get to know each family member very well. We are taken very deep into each of their lives that go beyond brewing and into their homes and meet different players (including random family members) that also played key roles in the success.
This book reads like a great fiction story, with so many ups and downs mixed with plenty of drama. The information that was researched is absolutely amazing and more importantly the way it's presented is astonishing. Mr. Knoedelseder does an amazing job in making a story that is not only entertaining but very informative. At times you can easily forget that this is a true story and can imagine you are reading a book about made up group of individuals.
If you have any interest in brewing, it's history or just an avid beer drinker you will love this book. Or if you are looking for a real life drama that reads like a great fiction novel you will be more than pleased. Take the time to enjoy this book!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love beer, business strategy and politics.
This book has all of the above and more.
Add to the recipe the degeneration of successive generations who inherit... Read more
Great book with a great story. It really gives you insight into the family history and conflict.Published 4 days ago by Stealth Spectre
Great but tragic story of a poorly run business, but really a poorly functioning family that impacted so many people. Well written, highly recommend.Published 1 month ago by Benjamin C. Grossman
A more than classic example of genius, wealth, family, and failure all live in the same house!Published 1 month ago by Mike B