Bitter Brew

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

William Knoedelseder

Book

Stretching across three centuries, from the start of the Civil War through Prohibition to today, Bitter Brew is the engrossing, often scandalous saga of one of the wealth- iest and most colorful dynasties in American commerce: the Busch family of St. Louis, Missouri, the founders of the legendary Anheuser-Busch company. The critically acclaimed journalist William Knoedelseder tells the story of how the Busch patriarchs turned a small brewery into a multibillion dollar international corporation and trans- formed their product, Budweiser, into the iconic "King of Beers." He paints a fascinating portrait of immense wealth and power accompanied by scandal, heartbreak, tragedy, and untimely death. A cautionary tale of prosperity, hubris, and loss, Bitter Brew is also a revealing chronicle of American progress and decline over the past 150 years.

Author

William Knoedelseder

William Knoedelseder was a longtime reporter for the Los Angeles Times, and he has been a television news executive for Knight Ridder, Fox, and the USA Network. His books include Stiffed: A True Story of MCA, the Music Business, and the Mafia, and I'm Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-Up Comedy's Golden Era. He lives in Woodland Hills, California.

Reviews

“[An] engaging narrative.” —Daily Beast

“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

“…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

“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”

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

“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

“[A] thoroughly researched and thoughtfully written book.” Publishers Weekly

“An engrossing behind-the-scenes look at one of America’s most successful and familiar brands.” Kirkus

“[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