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Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America's Kings of Beer | [William Knoedelseder]

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

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. 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2012 William Knoedelseder (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (172 )
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4.3 (155 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Gayle Hallgren-Rezac Vancouver, BC 03-29-13
    Gayle Hallgren-Rezac Vancouver, BC 03-29-13 Member Since 2003

    I love books, but I particularly love audio books. What a luxury to have someone like Campbell Scott read you to sleep.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Don't Have to Care About Beer to Enjoy this Story"
    What made the experience of listening to Bitter Brew the most enjoyable?

    This history of Anheuser-Busch is fascinating, the wealth, the power and the disfunction. A very well-written, page turning history lesson. One character is more fascinating than the next. I am waiting for someone to do a cable series on this family.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Most of the characters were flawed and that made the story more compelling.


    What does Peter Berkrot bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Peter Berkrot is an excellent narrator. Doesn't get in the way of the story, no over-acting.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Troy, IL, United States 03-25-13
    Elizabeth Troy, IL, United States 03-25-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Mispronunciations galore"
    Any additional comments?

    I don't know who exactly the target audience was for this book, but someone had to know that the St Louis community would be a big part of it...right? But yet no one had the common courtesy to check on the pronunciations of the city's neighborhoods and landmarks...and even the newspaper. Very very distracting!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vicki CAMERON, SC, United States 03-02-13
    Vicki CAMERON, SC, United States 03-02-13 Member Since 2011
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    "This Buds For You!"

    I loved this book. The author did a wonderful job telling the story of the rise, the wild ride, and the sad decline of an American family brewery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA, United States 01-15-13
    Dan HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA, United States 01-15-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Entertaining and Educational"
    What made the experience of listening to Bitter Brew the most enjoyable?

    The narration was one of a kind, extremely well read.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The history of beer in America, the marketing aspect, and the drama of the Bush family.


    Have you listened to any of Peter Berkrot’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't but he performed masterfully.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Clydesdales to crabs, and how Budweiser brought them to you.


    Any additional comments?

    This would make a great mini-series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kay TEMECULA, CA, United States 12-05-12
    Kay TEMECULA, CA, United States 12-05-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Very Interesting"
    What made the experience of listening to Bitter Brew the most enjoyable?

    Learning more about the history of AB and the each generation.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The thing that drove me crazy was the mispronunciation of St. Louis locales.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim United States 07-03-13
    Tim United States 07-03-13 Member Since 2010

    My reviews are honest. No sugar coating here.

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    "Birthrights"

    I haven't been a consumer of Anheuser Busch products for well over a decade. It's a part of my life that I just outgrew, but when I was drinking Budweiser was one of my favorites. "Bitter Brew" is an excellent business story, where generations after generations ruin the family business because of their birthrights.

    Instead of getting the job base on merits, August Busch IV (The Fourth), became CEO and ruin the legacy of the family and the business. Not only he made really bad business choices for Anheuser Busch, but he was also a big time substance abuser and playboy. It is because of his family's name that he became the head master brewer.

    It's really interesting to read these kinds of books. Not only it's informable, but the ultra wealthy crumbles because of birthrights.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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