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.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $27.99
  • Save: $7.03 (25%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 6 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Bitter Brew: The Rise and... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Almost no wear to cover pages perfect
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America's Kings of Beer Hardcover – November 6, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 390 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$20.96
$12.66 $5.00

Excel2016ForDummiesVideo
Excel 2016 For Dummies Video Training
Discover what Excel can do for you with self-paced video lessons from For Dummies. Learn more.
$20.96 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America's Kings of Beer
  • +
  • Dethroning the King: The Hostile Takeover of Anheuser-Busch, an American Icon
  • +
  • The 3G Way: An introduction to the management style of the trio who's taken over some of the most important icons of American capitalism.
Total price: $52.86
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

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)

“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.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness (November 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062009265
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062009265
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (390 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sean MacMillan on December 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wow - I never thought I would say a book about Anheuser-Busch brewing history would be a page turner but I'm happily wrong. The story hits on all cylinders in my opinion. Yes, it's a story filled with scandal about a really colorful family. But it's more than that. It talks to what I think is wrong with today's corporate culture as well. How businesses in this country started out good but have become corrupted over the years. Through the good and bad, the Busch family played a major part in the American business landscape. It was great to see the whole story unfold and tough to see the kingdom come down in the end. Bill does a great job of setting the table and keeping your interest throughout the book. I'm not kidding when I say you won't want to put this down.
2 Comments 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I live in the metropolitan St. Louis area and the Busch family is part of the culture and history here. I found this book to be intriguing and a bit sad as well. Money really cannot buy you happiness and this book tells the family's tragic story. Well written and engrossing. I literally could not put it down.
Comment 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book, with far more sources than the earlier DETHRONING THE KING (see my review), which better covered the financial aspects. Say what you want about the arrogance of the Busch family. August III accomplished pretty much everything he set out to do when he took control from his aging and out-or-touch father, August Bush, Jr., in 1974; fighting off the Phillip-Morris/Miller challenge, and achieving a U.S. market-share-growth from the low 20% to over 50%.
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 ›
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
More a biography of the Busch family than it is a book about their beer empire, it was compelling nonetheless, with sons conspiring against fathers, orgies, and the final, tragic and sad collapse of the empire when their drug-addict CEO, after having pushed his dad out of the way, let the company fall out of Busch hands for the first time in 150 years.

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.
1 Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Meh. Non-fiction isn't usually my style, so take my review with a grain of salt. I found the book to be very confusing (most of the people have the name August- "Auggie", "Gussie", "three sticks"… I was having a hard time following. An interesting read for anyone who is familiar with STL. I found it fun to read and know the places they were talking about (having been there). This book was decent, though not the page turner that I usually enjoy.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an entertaining, almost page-turning, look at the Anheuser Busch beer company, its history, and the Busch family members who ran the company, dealt with prohibition and the return from prohibition. Also touched on were the impact of Anheuser Busch on the city of St Louis and even a bit about the company's ownership of the St Louis Cardinals baseball team.

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!!
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't think I have ever recommended a non fiction book so heavily to so many different people. Two week ago I finished reading this, in record time for a non fiction might i add, and I am still thinking about different details of this extremely well written book. While reading my review, please note that at this time I have lived in St. Louis for 7 years and while I do have a certain amount of civic pride, I am also a consumer of the beer so heavily talked about in this book.

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!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America's Kings of Beer
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America's Kings of Beer