Bitter Brew (and I don’t mean hops)


I talk a lot about beer books.  If you put me on an island with a library and a brewery,  I would be happy, happy!  And this book would fascinate me.  I have already read one tome about the sorry saga of the Busch family and this one from a former L.A. Times writer William Knoedelseder sounds like a quick and juicy read.

“The engrossing, often scandalous saga of one of the wealthiest, longest-lasting, and most colorful dynasties in the history of American commerce—a cautionary tale about prosperity, profligacy, hubris, and the blessings and dark consequences of success.

Stretching across three centuries, from the start of the Civil War through two World Wars and Prohibition to today, Bitter Brew tells the astonishing story of how five generations of men—fathers, sons, and brothers—took a small, bankrupt brewery on the banks of the Mississippi and built it into an international colossus. It is the story of America’s past and present—a tale of promise and fulfillment for immigrants like Adolphus Busch, determined to strike it rich; and of a modern generation who squandered that dream. It is a story of breathtaking wealth, political power, and public acclaim—and of heartbreak, scandal, tragedy, and death. In chronicling the rise and fall of the Busch family and its business, the veteran journalist William Knoedelseder tells a broader story of American progress and decline over the last 150 years.”