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The Journal Gazette

  • In this Nov. 17, 2011 photo, William K. "Billy" Busch samples his Kraftig lager at O'Connell's Pub in St. Louis, Mo. (Robert Cohen,/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

Thursday, July 11, 2019 12:40 pm

Last call: Brewery run by Busch heir going out of business

JIM SALTER | Associated Press


ST. LOUIS – The Missouri brewery that makes Kraftig beer, which is operated by an heir to the family that founded Anheuser-Busch, is going out of business.

The William K. Busch Brewing Co. announced the decision Wednesday, citing market demand. Busch said in a statement that he hopes to eventually return to the brewery business.

"I've always been passionate about brewing, because it's in my blood," Busch said in a statement posted on the company's Facebook page.

The beer will continue to be available in stores while supplies last, which is expected to be through September, said the brewery, which began operation in 2011 in Brentwood, a St. Louis suburb.

Busch is a son of August "Gussie" Busch Jr., the longtime leader of Anheuser-Busch credited with building the St. Louis brewer into the dominant force of the beer market. Anheuser-Busch was sold to Belgian brewer InBev in 2008.

Billy Busch never worked for Anheuser-Busch, but he has said he wanted to brew a beer in the style of his family's tradition. He did not consider Kraftig – which means strong, stout or robust in German – a craft beer.

The company offered no specific details about what led to its decision to close. Busch had been planning to build a brewery and distillery on land he owns in St. Charles County near St. Louis.