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Busch Family Brewed: Who owns Anheuser-Busch?

Gussie and Billy Busch Jr.
Gussie and Billy Busch Jr. on Busch Family Brewed. Pic credit: MTV

MTV introduced a new reality show, Busch Family Brewed, last night. The series follows the Busch family, of Anheuser-Busch fame, in their various daily adventures.

The Busch brood is huge. Billy Busch Sr., the family patriarch, is one of seven children.

He went on to marry Christi, and they have seven children of their own — Billy Jr., Haley, Abbey, Gussie, Grace, Maddie, and Peter.

The kids feature prominently on the show, and viewers can expect to see developments in Haley’s relationship, Billy Jr. and Gussie’s move to a farmhouse, and Maddie’s high school drama.

A long history in beer

Billy Sr.’s great-grandfather Adolphus Busch immigrated to the United States from Germany and then started Anheuser-Busch, the company behind Budweiser and Stella Artois.

Interestingly, Adolphus didn’t start in the beer industry — he fought in the Civil War, and following that, he began working for the Anheuser Brewing Company, owned then by his father-in-law.

In 1869, Busch purchased an available share in the company, and Anheuser-Busch was born. Through the years, the company made a name for itself by leading the way with new technologies.

They were among the first to use pasteurization and refrigerated railroad cars.

The company was passed down through the generations. The family continued to dabble in other business interests, including the theme park, Busch Gardens, and Bush Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals.

The family sold the business

Although the family built their wealth on the Anheuser-Busch brand, they no longer own the company.

According to Forbes, between 1989 and 2008, the Busch family sold about 25 percent of the company. In 2008, the Busch family sold the remaining shares of the company to a group of investors in a merger with InBev.

The family’s made out okay, though, even without official ownership of Anheuser-Busch. In 2016, Forbes estimated the family’s net worth at $13.4 billion, placing them in the top 20 richest families in America.

The sale wasn’t the end of the family’s involvement in the industry.

Billy Sr., who asserts that beer is “in his blood,” started his own brewing company in 2011. His company, William K. Busch Brewing Co., manufactured beers called Kraftig and Kraftig Light.

Unfortunately, Billy didn’t see the same success as his ancestors and the company announced plans to shut down last year.

The first episode gave hints that we’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at the company, but viewers will have to wait and see.

Busch Family Brewed airs on Thursdays at 9/8c on MTV.


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