How Adolphus Busch Became The King Of Beers

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)— Adolphus Busch was a teenager when he moved from Germany to St. Louis in 1857. Busch had little experience making beer even though his family sold brewery supplies. But he had other talents.

"He was a marketing genius and a salesman of epic proportions and he was determined to create a national beer brand." said Dr. Robert Archibald of the Missouri History Museum.

His first jobs in St. Louis had nothing to do with brewing. Then he met and married Lilly Anheuser. Her father Eberhard Anheuser owned a small local brewery.

"Busch's father died and left him some money. Adolphus was able to buy into Eberhart Anheuser's brewery and so they became partners and with Eberhart's death a few later it became Anheuser-Busch." said Dr. Robert Archibald.

What Adolphus Busch did was grow the company fast. He introduced pasteurization and refrigerated rail cars. This allowed A-B to produce and distribute beer on a massive scale.

"Obviously Adolphus Busch didn't invent beer. He was just the first to realize that if he processed the beer a little differently and marketed it nationally he could sell a lot more . He did it and he was extremely successful." said Dr. Robert Archibald.

Adolphus came from a family of 22 children. A tradition he and Lilly continued by having 13 children of their own.

He died in 1913 while vacationing in Germany. His body was returned to St. Louis for burial at Bellfontaine cemetery.