Anheuser-Busch | St. Louis Public Radio


The Lone Wolf Club, shown here, was a speakeasy during Prohibition. The club, which stood at the edge of what is now Castlewood State Park, later became a private tavern.
Castlewood State Park

The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution established the prohibition of alcohol in the U.S. Enforcement of the new law started on Jan. 17, 1920.

In this episode of St. Louis on the Air, we recognize the 100th anniversary of Prohibition by diving into St. Louis’ rich Prohibition-era history.

AB InBev merger still stings 10 years later

Jul 13, 2018
Nan Palmero | Flickr Creative Commons

On July 14, 2008, Anheuser-Busch accepted a $52 billion takeover offer from InBev, a beer conglomerate based in Belgium. The deal marked the end of an era for the iconic American brewery established in 1852, and its hometown of St. Louis.

One local industry that had flourished for decades in the shadow of Anheuser-Busch was advertising. Think Jon Hamm in Mad Men. AB was the glamour account that everyone wanted a piece of and there was plenty of work to keep a small army of creative people very busy.

Brewmaster Stuart Keating, seen in a May 1 photo, stands in the excavated cellar below the taproom of Earthbound Brewery. It contains eight groin-vaulted arches, supported by a trio of three-foot limestone pillars..
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis beer drinkers will soon be able to toast the return of a cherished brewery tradition.

Earthbound Brewery is moving into a 150-year-old building that once housed a brewery built above a natural cave system along Cherokee Street. Recently, workers hauled 600 tons of debris from one cellar beneath the old building. It took 20 people and $40,000 to complete the job, said Stuart Keating, the owner of the microbrewery.

Earthbound Brewery's new taproom is scheduled to open this month.

A screengrab of Budweiser's Super Bowl advertisement, highlighting the young Adolphus Busch.

By now, this year’s Budweiser commercial during the Super Bowl has become the most viewed online of all the ads during this year’s big game. 

The ad follows the story of a young Adolphus Busch as he makes his way from Germany to St. Louis before starting Anheuser-Busch. It’s a feel-good story about immigrants’ contributions to American society, especially at a time when some immigrants to the United States feel under attack.

But how historically accurate is it?

"St. Louis Brews" is a work-in-progress documentary from local filmmaker Bill Streeter. Extended clips of the film will be shown at St. Louis International Film Festival's opening night on Nov. 3.
Bill Streeter | Hydraulic Pictures

Local filmmaker Bill Streeter is known around town for his work producing corporate videos through his company Hydraulic Pictures, creating Lo-Fi St. Louis, and for his 2011 documentary “A Brick By Chance and Fortune.”

More details are emerging about Anheuser-Busch InBev’s takeover of rival brewer SABMiller, which is expected to close in a few weeks.  Documents from both companies provide a glimpse of job cuts, brand growth and reasons behind the roughly $100 billion deal.

Four Busch siblings make new offer to buy Grant's Farm

Apr 7, 2016
Grant's Farm bridge with sign thanking attendees for visiting
William K. Busch Brewing Company

The saga over who will own Grant’s Farm continues. Four Busch family siblings have offered to purchase the farm for $26 million and continue operations as they currently exist. 

In an announcement the siblings said public response to the ongoing question of ownership motivated their offer.

Zoo says it wants to buy Grant's Farm, so does Billy Busch

Nov 18, 2015

The St. Louis Zoo is making plans to acquire the family attraction Grant’s Farm from the Busch Family Real Estate Trust.

Kevin Kious (left) and Stefene Russell (right), co-authors of “St. Louis Brews, 2nd Edition: The History of Brewing in the Gateway City.”
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Everyone knows St. Louis is a beer city as much as a river city or Gateway city or 1904 World’s Fair city. But not everyone has the encyclopedic knowledge of the history of brewing in St. Louis that the second edition of “St. Louis Brews” provides.

“St. Louis Brews: The History of Brewing in the Gateway City” features a chronology of brewing history in and around St. Louis; profiles of over 100 local breweries; biographies of the household names Busch and Anheuser; and, new to the second edition, an expansive survey of the city’s prospering craft beer scene.

Climatron 2014
Brent Jones | St. Louis Public Radio

So you have relatives in town, kids that need to get out and about or you just need to stretch your legs and decompress.

The Garden Glow Light Exhibit at the Missouri Botanical Garden has been a favorite with members of our staff. It is not open Christmas, but is Dec. 26-Jan. 3 – though not New Year’s Eve -- from 5:30-9:30. A recommendation: Get tickets in advance.

How many lights?

600,000 -- that's almost 100,000 more than last year

Worried about cold?

(Courtesy: HarperCollins Publishers)

When St. Louis native Bill Knoedelseder pitched the idea for a TV series about a wealthy brewing, baseball-team-owning family, Hollywood was skeptical. How could a Midwestern mansion hold a candle next to, say, an oil family in Dallas?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 13, 2012 - The latest to tell the story of the rise and fall of Anheuser-Busch is William Knoedelseder, who will be at Left Bank Books tonight to talk about and sign "Bitter Brew."

The St. Louis native, who lives in southern California, did not get interviews with August Busch III or IV, but other family members and former brewery employees did open up.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 26, 2010 - When Julie MacIntosh set out to write "Dethroning the King," her book about the sale of Anheuser-Busch to InBev, she was worried about how she would fit in with her sources, "as a young(ish) pregnant woman writing a book about the hostile takeover of a male-dominated brewer."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 10, 2009 - Benj Steinman vividly recalls comments from an InBev executive, delivered a few weeks before the Belgian-Brazilian brewer completed its acquisition of Anheuser-Busch in November 2008.

"The InBev culture will exist," said the executive in a speech to New York beer wholesalers. The culture is "non-negotiable," said the executive, adding that employees are "on the bus or off the bus."

Long reign of the 'King of Beers' is about to end

Nov 12, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 12, 2008 - It's coming down to the finish line. Anheuser-Busch said Wednesday that a majority of its shares were voted in favor of the company's purchase by Belgian brewer InBev, setting the stage for completion by year-end.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 30, 2008 - A darkening economic climate is making the path to InBev's purchase of Anheuser-Busch a bit more interesting than the companies had hoped.

Financial turmoil in the United States, a bond-rating firm's downgrade and a multibillion dollar infusion for one of InBev's lenders have tossed unwelcome headliness in the way of a deal that the companies and analysts still say will completed by year-end.

'Beer, Bubbles & Bucks': book on ice

Jul 31, 2008

This post first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 31, 2008 - Lou Dersch, 83, is looking for his first book contract. This isn't an idle pursuit, though, as his memoir of life in the brewing industry -- "Beer, Bubbles & Bucks" -- is already printed up, with 200 copies coming off the plates and distributed around town to friends, family and associates from his near-two-decade run as a top ad man at Anheuser-Busch.

A-B lifts a glass to better than expected earnings

Jul 23, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 23, 2008 - Anheuser-Busch on Wednesday reported second-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street estimates. Higher profits from domestic and some foreign beer operations offset lower profits from non-beer businesses.

The March-June results are unaffected by the company's agreement on July 14 to be acquired by Belgian brewer InBev. That deal is expected to close by year-end. But until the initial agreement is approved by regulators and shareholders of both companies, Anheuser-Busch's results will reflect its independence.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 21, 2008 - When Anheuser-Busch and the Teamsters union discussed a contract renewal in 2003, negotiations went smoothly. They started talking in August, reached a tentative agreement in October and signed a deal in early December -- three months before the old contract expired.

Negotiators will return to the bargaining table next month. But 2008 may not be the same as 2003, when a union leader called the contract "a Cadillac plan" and the union membership overwhelmingly supported it.

Boycott in St. Louis? Not so much

Jul 14, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 14, 2008 - Nationally, internet web sites are filled with comments from beer drinkers who say they are switching brands because of the impending buyout.

One, posted by a writer with the screen name "IMCULTEC" on an America On Line site Monday morning, said: "Guess I'll make my own brewskis now. . . don't like foreigners taking over the reins of the Clydesdales. Doesn't feel right. Buy AMERICAN!! At least what's left, that is. Damn this Guberment!"

Analysis: Winners and losers in the big beer deal

Jul 14, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 14, 2008 - Now that Anheuser-Busch and InBev say they are friends, let’s look at potential winners and losers - both short-term and long-term - based on the Belgian brewer’s new offer for Anheuser-Busch at $70-a-share in cash.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 13, 2008 - InBev raised its offer and Anheuser-Busch raised a flag of truce, agreeing to a $70-a-share buyout. 

Shortly after 11 p.m., Anheuser-Busch announced it had agreed to terms with InBev.

AB across from i-55. 2008. 300 pixels wide
Donna Korando | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 13, 2008 - There was one strategy, and perhaps only one strategy, that could have kept St. Louis’ Anheuser-Busch King of the Brewing Mountain, immune from its now seemingly inevitable and imminent takeover by InBev of Belgium.

And that one thing, believes William Finnie, is the company having been more aggressive – and much sooner – in the international marketplace.

Air of inevitability hangs over AB deal

Jul 11, 2008
bevo fox looking at AB clocktower. 2008. 300 pixels
Tom Nagel | St. Louis Beacon archive

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 11, 2008 - Budweiser may hold onto its title as the "King of Beers," but the local entrepreneur who soon could become St. Louis' King of Brewers said today the foreign takeover of Anheuser-Busch shouldn't mean "doom and gloom" for the region.

Pro & Con: Does it matter if your brew is American made?

Jul 2, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 2, 2008 - A Fan of Anheuser-busch, Not Its Beer

By Rachel Brougham

I may not look like your average beer connoisseur. I'm a 30-year-old marathon runner. While I'm a woman who looks more like a snobby wine and cheese lover, I love my brew. More important, I love my imports and microbrews.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 1, 2008 - Belgian brewing giant InBev has moved a step closer to making a hostile offer for Anheuser-Busch, complaining that the St. Louis company's new plan for improving earnings and stock price has "significant execution risks."

Meanwhile, some analysts think that if InBev raises its offer too much, it will create financial problems for the combined company.

Just begun to fight: A-B presents its battle plan

Jun 27, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 27, 2008 - Seeking to explain why Anheuser-Busch should remain independent, top executives say earnings for the next three years will be well above Wall Street estimates, thanks to the company's revised strategic plan.

These gains will be achieved in part by cutting costs and jobs -- but not by cutting assets, such as the theme parks or the packaging subsidiary, the executives said Friday.

A-B rejects InBev's offer

Jun 26, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 26, 2008 - Anheuser-Busch has rejected a $46.4 billion takeover bid from Belgium's InBev, saying the offer was "financially inadequate and not in the best interests" of shareholders.

The announcement, which came about an hour after markets closed on Thursday, turned down the $65-a-share cash offer even though Anheuser-Busch's stock has never reached that level.

Dear A-B, Time is running out, Sincerely, InBev

Jun 25, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 25, 2008 - Belgian brewing giant InBev has sent another letter to Anheuser-Busch reaffirming its desire for a friendly acquisition, assuring that it has solid financing and warning that "time is of the essence." InBev's letter -- its third -- was the equivalent of writing the word "friendly" in capital letters with several exclamation marks added for emphasis.

Commentary: This Bud's for them

Jun 25, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 25, 2008 - A friend of mine stopped by the office the other day to ask me to sign a petition. Normally, I'm not much of a joiner, but it's hard to refuse a buddy so I asked him what we were protesting. Turns out I'm against the takeover of Anheuser-Busch.