‘Busch Family Brewed’: Does the Busch Family Still Own Budweiser?

The name Busch is synonymous with beer. In the late 19th century, Adolphus Busch entered the brewery business, partnering with his father-in-law Eberhard Anheuser to form Anheuser-Busch. The St. Louis-based company endured ups, like introducing Budweiser, the first national beer brand, and downs, like prohibition. More than a century later, the company founded by a pair of German immigrants is still churning out brews. 

The Busch family is still around as well, though they’ve branched out from the beer business. Nine descendants of Adolphus Busch are currently starring in MTV’s newest reality series, Busch Family Brewed. The series, which premiered March 5, chronicles the life of Billy Busch Sr., his wife Christi, and their seven kids as they break ground on a new brewery. But what about the brewery that made their name? 

The Busch family no longer owns Budweiser

Budweiser sign
Budweiser sign | Jiangang Wang / Contributor

For years, Anheuser-Busch was a family-run company. Five generations of Busches served as CEO between the company’s founding and 2008. But when August Busch IV was at the helm, the family lost control of the business after a hostile takeover by InBev. 

While Billy Busch Sr. is part of the legendary brewing family, he never worked for Anheuser-Busch, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Busch Sr. is one of 11 children of Gussie Busch, who ran the family’s company for 30 years until his son August Busch III ousted him in a boardroom coup. 

The ‘Busch Family Brewed’ crew wants to keep the family’s traditions alive 

Busch Family
The Busch Family Brewed | MTV

While Busch Sr. never worked at Anheuser-Busch, he still feels a connection to the business that made the family’s $13.4 billion fortune. He and his children decided to return to the family’s roots with their latest business venture. 

“We’re trying to keep our family’s traditions alive, to write the second chapter of our family’s brewing history, by building a brewery on our farm,” Billy Busch Jr. told Entertainment Weekly. “We are the only Busches that are keeping the traditions alive by building this brewery. It hasn’t been done now in over 150 years,” he added.

However, Busch Sr.’s dreams of another family brewery appear to have hit a roadblock. He founded his own brewery called Kräftig in 2011, but it shut down in July 2019.

In an interview with TV Insider, Busch Sr. acknowledged the challenges of breaking into the competitive brewery business. 

“Well I think the difficulty in this day and age is standing out and being unique,” he said. “You know, with all the breweries out there, there’s so much competition in the marketplace. How do you stand out? That’s always a challenge for anybody. So, we’re going to have a really awesome farm brewery, built right on our farm, and I think it’s going to be something that’s a little unique in and of itself because breweries are mainly urban tied. We’re going to follow in my ancestors’ footsteps and not cut corners in quality, and I think that will help us stand out.”

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