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.
©2012 William Knoedelseder (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers
This is a great story detailing the blood sweat and tears associated with building and ultimately losing one of America iconic companies / brands. I have lived in St. Louis for nearly 4 years now and this story has given me an entirely new perspective on the big brewery and the family that built it. I would reccomend this book to almost anyone who has an interest in history, business or even general drama.
It's too bad Berkrot didn't do as good a job researching things as the author did. Mispronouncing "Carondolet" might excusable for a non-St. Louisan, but to mispronounce Stuart Symington's name and Red Schoendienst's name is NOT excusable. His voice is pleasant enough, and I enjoyed listening, I just wish he'd have checked some things first.
I'm more of a wino than a beer drinker, but this is a really interesting story. It's extremely well written and well narrated. I would highly recommend this audio book to anyone interested in the history of American business. Informative and entertaining at the same time.
I have not read the print version of Bitter Brew but there is a great PDF attached to the download for pics and charts.
The Forth is my favorite as he is leaving an incredible path of death and destruction in his wake.
No, but I do plan to listen to his other books in the future.
It was broken into 3 parts, and I finished it in less than a week as I found it very interesting. I think they should make it into a TV mini series.
I live in St. Louis so the book is a must read for people living in the Lou, but people from other places will enjoy the book if they have ever drank a beer or wondered what rich people do when they have no morals or common sense.
Really enjoyed this book! Narrator executes well but feel he may have been a bad choice for purely tonal reasons.
I worked at A-B for several years and can attest first-hand to the Busch family cult of personality described in "Bitter Brew." If anything, I found it to be even more palpable and all-consuming in the corporate culture than what is described in the book.
The decades-long story that unfolds is fascinating in a way akin to reading about a royal family -- the aspirations, the battles, the treacheries, the grudges, and the grooming of heirs are all the same.
In this way, I see the whole thing as less a cautionary tale of cutthroat capitalism, than a tragic account of fatal and flawed family dynamics.
My only complaint is that Knoedelseder's telling is more plain and flatly journalistic than the vivid subject matter deserved, and in the end could've benefitted from more descriptive analysis into the meaning of it all.
I love books, but I particularly love audio books. What a luxury to have someone like Campbell Scott read you to sleep.
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.
Most of the characters were flawed and that made the story more compelling.
Peter Berkrot is an excellent narrator. Doesn't get in the way of the story, no over-acting.
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!
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.
The narration was one of a kind, extremely well read.
The history of beer in America, the marketing aspect, and the drama of the Bush family.
I haven't but he performed masterfully.
Clydesdales to crabs, and how Budweiser brought them to you.
This would make a great mini-series.
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