Synopses & Reviews
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.
“Bitter Brew deftly chronicles the contentious succession of kings in a uniquely American dynasty. Youll 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.
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.
About the Author
WILLIAM KNOEDELSEDER spent twelve years as a reporter at the Los Angeles Times, where his groundbreaking coverage of the recording industry for the newspaper's financial section resulted in the critically acclaimed book Stiffed: A True Story of MCA, the Music Business, and the Mafia. Knoedelseder has also been a television executive, creating, managing, and producing news programs for Knight Ridder, Fox, and the USA Network. At USA, he was vice president of news. His most recent book, I'm Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Standup Comedy's Golden Era, has been optioned for film by actor Jim Carrey. He lives in Woodland Hills, California.