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Download Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America’s Kings of Beer Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America’s Kings of Beer, by William Knoedelseder Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (368 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William Knoedelseder Narrator: Peter Berkrot Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 William 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Who knew beer, baseball, and batty billionaires could make for such a tantalizing literary brew? Veteran investigative reporter Bill Knoedelseder pours readers a full pint of intrigue, insight, and intelligent writing, a rich tale more satisfying than a Budweiser and more exciting than a bottom-of-the-ninth grand slam.”

    David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize–winning author

  • “As the Busch family goes, so goes America. Bill Knoedelseder has taken their multigenerational saga and boiled it down into a heartfelt, hilarious ode to beer, baseball, and business.”

    Michael London, Academy Award–nominated producer of Sideways

  • 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

  • “A great American story told as well as it could be told. I’ll never drink a Bud the same way again.”

    Larry Leamer, bestselling author of the Kennedy family trilogy, The Kennedy WomenThe Kennedy Men, and Sons of Camelot

  • “[A] thoroughly researched and thoughtfully written book.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “An engrossing behind-the-scenes look at one of America’s most successful and familiar brands.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, November 2012

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ellenglo | 2/20/2014

    " a little repetitive at times but overall an interesting, comprehensive look at the busch family "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Denise Kruse | 2/14/2014

    " Lost a star for typos. The most offensive - "Gravis" Road in south St. Louis? Really? As if a four-second Google search would have killed your editors. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Debbie Allen | 2/7/2014

    " Really liked this book. Fast pace and held my interest. I,am from Missouri and the history of St. Louis and the Busch empire was fascinating to me. There's humor to boot with this one and I was not disappointed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Sonja | 2/3/2014

    " Interesting local history. "

  • > Show All
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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 book I’m Dying up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-up Comedy’s Golden Era has been optioned for film by actor Jim Carrey. He lives in Woodland Hills, California.