Dubious St. Louis Character Billy Busch Releases New Beers

Adolphus Busch’s great grandson has been accused of assault, neglect, ear biting

Billy Busch, who has recently announced wider availability of two new beers from his Busch Family Brewing & Distilling Company, faced assault charges from a 2017 incident. - COURTESY WILLIAM K. BREWING COMPANY
Billy Busch, who has recently announced wider availability of two new beers from his Busch Family Brewing & Distilling Company, faced assault charges from a 2017 incident.

Billy Busch, great grandson of Adolphus Busch, has made a new foray into the world. No, it isn’t another short-lived reality TV show a la 2020’s The Busch Family Brewed but rather a return to the meat-and-potatoes of the Busch family.

It’s a beer. Actually, it’s two beers.

Last week, the Busch Family Brewing & Distilling Company announced the wide availability of its two inaugural brews, the Adolphus German Style Pilsner and Gussie Bavarian Lager, from “an heir of the Busch Family legacy." Previously, the Adolphus could be found at a few area spots but is now at locations such as Café Napoli, Culpepper's, Mike Duffy's Pub and Grill and Sam's Steakhouse, among others.

Both were brewed by Urban Chestnut Brewing Company and under the supervision of Josh Hearst, the head brewer of Busch Family Brewing & Distilling.

“My family and I are carrying on the tradition of brewing some of the finest beers in the country,” Busch said in a press release, adding that the two were meant to honor his great grandfather and father respectively.

One dares not speculate on what the Busch forefathers would make of these two beers nor what they’d make of their so-called heir, who has several dark spots on his public record. In 2018, Billy Busch faced assault charges for a 2017 incident in which he took intervening in a spat between his son and another sixth grader at a basketball game much too far. Busch bloodied the child’s nose and pushed him against a wall, pinning him.

Later that year, Busch pled down to disturbing the peace from fourth-degree assault for the alleged incident, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“Justice is served,” Derek Falb, the boy’s father, said in a statement at the time.

In 1988, Busch had a public and supposedly nasty custody battle with Angela Whitson after refusing to return their daughter and a half bother to her. They both accused each other of neglect, though a judge eventually sided with Busch lukewarmly, noting that he could hire care, according to the Post-Dispatch.

When Busch proposed to buy Grant’s Farm in 2016, that daughter, Scarlett Busch, wrote on Facebook of his “neglect and abandonment” reported St. Louis Magazine.

That's not all. The Post-Dispatch goes on to note a few older incidents when Busch, allegedly, bit off someone's ear during a bar fight in 1981, though no charges were filed. In addition, he allegedly hit a man in the throat in a drive-through window the following year, though no charges were filed.

But this is all getting away from the beers. Actually, this venture isn't Busch's first into the beer world. In 2011, he'd launched the William K. Busch Brewing Company, which made Kräftig, and shut it down in 2019, citing low market demand.

About The Author

Jessica Rogen

Jessica Rogen is managing editor for the Riverfront Times. Send her your food, arts, film, theater, music and other culture happenings.
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