Comece a ler

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

492 páginas7 horas


“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.

Leia no app do Scribd

Baixe o app gratuito do Scribd para ler a qualquer hora, em qualquer lugar.

Amostra do livro

Bitter Brew - William Knoedelseder

Something Went Wrong | Scribd

Something went wrong

We are working hard to get things back up and running shortly.

Você chegou ao fim desta amostra. Registre-se para ler mais!
Página 1 de 1


Good book, good narrator (audiobook). Although, I just gotta add: the narrator sounded like he had a mix of southern and New York accents, but only occasionally. Interesting to listen to.Anyway, well-crafted history of the Busch brewing company. The older history was much more concise and interesting than recent history. After a while, it got boring reading about the later generations of the family using their pull to get out of legal problems (drunk driving, including a death). The author sounded like he had a vendetta against the recent Busch family, or was just so disgusted with them that he wanted us to for sure know how sleazy the youngest Busch is - detailing car accidents and nightclub activities of Adolph IV. Maybe it's just that more details are present for the younger generation. Whatever it is, it got really old listening to all the details of yet another night out for Adolph IV.Still, an overall good story about the brewing company. Recommend ready for history buffs.
Prior to Bitter Brew I knew nothing about the Busch family, didn't even realize there was a connection to Busch Gardens, thus my cultural ignorance. So this was a great education on the history of the company and family behind Budweiser. I'm of the same Generation X as Bush IV, who began taking up microbrews and imports and considered American to be piss water, epitomized by Budweiser and it's uncertain variants (light, ice etc). So this Schadenfreude of a book went down smooth. In all fairness this is not a legitimate history, it's really a "greatest hits" of the Busch family craziness and mistakes (the successes a given). It was entertaining, thought provoking and in the case of Busch IV, very sad, his days on this earth appear numbered unless he is able to get off drugs. Knoedelseder doesn't explore the obvious irony of a family whose success was built on encouraging increased alcohol consumption, but whose favored son is brought down by drug addiction, part of a bigger story about addiction problems in the modern world.
I lived in St. Louis for 35 years, so I came to know the story of the Busch family very well, and also got to know some of the lessor members of the Busch family. So I was familiar with many of the stories told in this book about the rise and fall of the great American brewery.What I didn't know, however, because I had left the city before it happened was what led to the company's purchase by InBev in the early 2000's. It is almost unbelievable to me how the board of directors could allow August Busch IV to become the CEO of the company when he was not only clearly incompetent, but also a drug addict and an alcoholic.It's a sad story, and only too common these days, how the rich are enabled and protected from being responsible. This man was not only responsible for the collapse of the company and the loss of over 2000 jobs in St. Louis, but he also caused the deaths of two women. He walked away with millions and left others to pick up the pieces. This is a cautionary tale.
I approached this book from an investor's point of view, as I knew it would be an illustration of the consequences of poor corporate governance. What a surprise to discover it's also a great read! The members of these multiple generations of the Busch family are characters as rich as in any great work of fiction. The story ranges from Prohibition-era history to contemporary politics and business, but in a most engaging way. I think most readers will be surprised by how much they learn. I also observed that the author is meticulous about sourcing. Unlike a lot of biographies I read, he does not attempt to describe what the family members were thinking. He relies solely on interviews, letters and documents. In fact, the motivations of some of the primary figures in the book remain frustratingly elusive, but it's because the author did know presume to know why they acted as they did. I appreciate such restraint in non-fiction work. Overall, this is a fascinating, well crafted and important story.
The writing made me wonder "Umm, really?" on several occasions. I stuck with it because of the story.
Well researched,a poignant account of the final battle of the great American beer wars
Great reading. Couldn't put it down.