The Untold Truth Of The Busch Family Brewed

"The Busch Family Brewed," an MTV reality series that aired its first season in 2020, chronicles the life and business ventures of Billy Busch Sr., his wife, Christi Busch, and their seven children. William K "Billy" Busch is a third generation beermaker and heir to the Anheuser-Busch legacy. His great-grandfather, Adolphus Busch, was co-founder of the beer company along with Eberhard Anheuser. And while Billy Bush Sr. was ousted from Anheuser-Busch in a 2008 takeover, he's determined to make his own name in the industry.

Though it has yet to be picked up for a second season, "The Busch Family Brewed" has all the makings of a successful reality television show: a large cast of interesting and good-looking characters, an intriguing backstory, and, of course, lots of money. Most of the series takes place in the Busch family's sprawling St. Louis home, as well as the family "farm" outside of the city which is on a lake and almost as lavish. The perfect location, you might say, for the Busch family's new brewery.

In the first episode of "The Busch Family Brewed," Billy Jr. and Christi really get into how much they value their brood's dynamic. "Family is everything to me, and I want them to remain close forever," Christi says. But what do we know about this family? Here is the untold truth of "The Busch Family Brewed."

Christi Busch wanted to wait to do the show

When "The Busch Family Brewed" started filming, the youngest of the seven children, Peter Busch, was 12 years old. The rest of the clan were in their teens and twenties, and that was by design. Daughter Haley Busch told Fox News that the family had been approached in the past about doing a reality show, but Billy Busch Sr. and Christi Busch felt it was too soon, and the children were too young. "We wanted the kids to grow up and be normal and have a childhood and not be in the public eye," Christi told Us Weekly. Normal being a relative term when you have the Busch family money and power. How does a kid remain grounded when he shares a name with Busch Gardens and the park where the St. Louis Cardinals play?

Christi shared that she didn't grow up rich, and she's always wanted to bring some sense of balance to the family. "I want them to be very humble, very kind to everybody," she said. And if you've seen the first season, that comes across despite the extravagant lifestyle they all lead.

Granted, waiting to do the show until their kids were older ups the drama ante. As Christi put it, "Bigger kids, bigger problems." So, the reality series has some of the kids dealing with adult relationships, college, and traveling instead of things like soccer games and play dates.

One of Billy Busch Sr.'s kids wasn't on the show

As big as the Busch family already is with seven children, the show is missing Billy Busch Sr.'s firstborn. Scarlett Busch came long before the other kids, back when Billy was involved with a woman named Angela Whitson. It doesn't appear as though the two were ever married, but their attempt at joint parenting took a hard turn when Scarlett was five years old, according to The St. Louis Post Dispatch. Reportedly, Billy brought Scarlett home for a visit and refused to return her, resulting in a court case where the two accused each other of neglect. According to "Bitter Brew" (via Heavy), Whitson struggled with addiction, and in 1989, the court ruled to give full custody to Billy Sr..

While it's clear there is a significant chunk missing from the relationship timeline, at some point an estrangement occurred between father and daughter. That became clearer in 2021 when Billy was in the process of trying to purchase Grant's Farm, an historic farm and landmark owned by his family. Part of Billy's pitch was that he wanted the property so he could carry on the Busch family's heritage. Per St. Louis magazine, Scarlett heard about this and took to Facebook with a since-deleted post, saying, "It's hard to believe that after the neglect and abandonment of his oldest daughter, that his family legacy is truly that important to him or that he values family the way he claims."

Billy Busch Sr. was accused of assaulting a minor

The trouble with Billy Busch Sr.'s firstborn isn't the only pre-show indiscretion he likely doesn't want brought to light. In March of 2018, NBC News reported that Billy Sr. was charged with assault for allegedly pushing an 11-year-old-boy up against a wall. The incident occurred while Billy Sr. was at his son Peter Busch's basketball practice. Apparently, Peter and another boy got into an altercation, and according to reports, Billy Sr. intervened when he saw the other boy hit Peter.

The boy claimed his teammate's dad pushed him against a wall and made him hit his head and that his nose started bleeding. In a statement, Billy Sr.'s attorney said, "School personnel failed to react, so he did what every parent would have done in that situation."

By the end of May 2018, a plea deal had been reached in which Billy Sr., pleaded guilty to a peace disturbance charge, as per the St. Louis Post Dispatch. The family of the boy was satisfied with Billy Sr. acknowledging his wrongdoing. And this wasn't the first time Billy found himself in this kind of trouble. In the early '80s, he got into physical altercations with a bar patron and a drive-thru employee, but he was absolved of both incidents. 

The family's empire was scooped up

Adolphus Busch, great-grandfather to William Busch Sr., entered the beer business in the 1860s after marrying the daughter of Eberhard Anheuser, working as a salesman for his brewery, and then buying shares in the company, per Anheuser-Busch's website. Over time, the business grew, and various family members took the helm of the empire. But according to Forbes, between 1989 and 2008, about 25% of the stock had been sold off, making the company susceptible to a takeover— which is exactly what happened.

According to The New York Times, a Belgian brewing company called InBev purchased Anheuser-Busch for approximately $52 billion in an all-cash deal that included keeping the name connected to the company; Anheuser-Busch InBev became the new name. And while Billy Busch Sr. never actually worked at A-B, it became clear in 2011 that he wanted his own shot at running a beer business when he opened his own brewery, Kräftig. Sadly, by July of 2019, they would announce their shutdown, saying goodbye in a heartfelt post on Facebook (via The Detroit News), "I've always been passionate about brewing, because it's in my blood. I hope to one day return to this great American-led industry." 

Evidently, the wait wasn't long. In May 2002, a not-so-cryptic message on the Kräftig Instagram page went up: "Brewing up something new!!" It looks like Billy Sr. will get another shot. (More on this in a bit.)

Haley Busch and her longtime boyfriend split

In the first episode of "The Busch Family Brewed," daughter Haley Busch was described by her family members as nurturing. Maybe that's why she was still in a relationship with her high school sweetheart, Clark Costello, whom she'd been dating for eight years. During that first episode, she and Costello were about to leave for a trip to Europe, one in which Haley and her sisters thought Costello might propose. It made sense given not just the length of the relationship but the fact that Haley, who had moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting, actually came home to prioritize her relationship with Clark. Unfortunately, there was no such proposal, even though some pressure was put on Costello by Haley's brothers before the trip.

It didn't help things when Haley asked Costello if he would consider making long distance work so she could go back to L.A. and he responded, "I care what you do, but, you know, I have multiple obligations." Haley's frustrations with Costello caused her to ask for a break. And her parents were not happy about how Clark was treating her, so Billy Busch Sr. decided to have a talk with him in Episode 7. But even pressed by the potential future father-in-law, he still waffled. "I gotta be honest with you, Clark, I'm not feeling all warm and fuzzy with that answer," Billy Sr. said.

Given Haley's Instagram shows her getting warm and fuzzy with another man, it looks like the two have not reconciled.

There are a lot of Augusts in the Busch family

August "Gussie" Busch is the second son of Billy Busch Sr. and the quintessential guy's guy. He's a self-proclaimed ladies' man, and his Instagram page (and the show at times) are filled with images of him fishing, hunting, riding horses, playing sports, and of course, drinking beer. He played football for University of Alabama and appears to be a pretty darn good polo player, based on his Grand Champions Polo Club stats.

Without drawing you a Busch family tree, let's just say there is a fair amount of men named August sitting on those branches. It's likely the August Gussie was named after Billy Busch Sr.'s dad, but let's go back a bit. When Adolph Busch died in 1913, his son, August A. Busch Sr. took over as president of Anheuser-Busch. Of course the reins were handed down several more times over the next 95 years (including more Augusts), and then, ironically, the final Busch CEO before the selling of the company was August Busch IV. As per Business Insider, August IV, the half nephew of Billy Sr., has had some legal trouble. He once fled the scene of a car accident after his passenger died, and some years later, he not only led cops on a chase, but was accused of attempting to run down an officer. On both counts he was acquitted. Let's hope the youngest August keeps his fun as clean as it has appeared so far.

Jake Fusia is considered part of the family

Family friend Jake Fusia appears in Season 1 of The Busch Family Brewed." And though he's not actually related to the family, he fits right in with the kids, especially Billy Busch Jr. and Gussie Busch. According to the season opener, Fusia met Billy Jr. in college and he's known the family for a decade. "I'm the eighth kid that they probably did not want to have," Fusia said in a side interview. His best buddy Billy Jr. sees his personality more like Gussie. "Jake is like the Tasmanian devil, just fricken whirl-winding around."

Fusia also said he works with Billy Sr. (at the time of the show). His LinkedIn lists him in Real Estate and Private Equity with one of his jobs showing at the Busches' now-defunct brewing company as an area sales manager. In the Season 4 episode Fusia joins Billy Busch Sr., Christi Busch, and Billy Jr. to taste beer for the new brewery so it's likely he's going to be involved in the new venture as well.

That same episode, Billy Jr. enters Fusia in a wing-eating competition and apparently he's been known to win an eating competition or two. Fusia also puts a huge priority on friendship. In an Instagram post pic with some of the Busch kids, he quoted Don Corleone of "The Godfather," writing, "Friendship is everything. Friendship is more than talent. It is more than government. It is almost the equal of family."

The Busch family's sentimental art collection

The children of "The Busch Family Brew" might all have their own personalities and dreams, but there's one thing they all have in common as they drift off to sleep in their bed each night: a portrait of themselves along with their mother hanging on the wall. Now before your mind starts spinning with various explanations about extravagant and eccentric rich people finding ways to spend their money, there's actually a very practical — and sweet — explanation for these mementos.

As mom Christi Busch explained to Us Weekly, she discovered when the kids were going through family photos that she was hardly in any of them, with most pictures and videos featuring dad while mom held the camera. So, she came up with the idea of the portrait. "So when I'm dead, you still have one picture of me," she joked. "And I like being on their wall so they don't bring girls in their bedroom. Billy Sr. added to the kidding when he said it's in the will that the kids have to take their portrait and hang it up when they move into their own place.

Daughter Grace Busch said in the first episode that it was about more than her not being in photos. "We're her whole life," she said, with Maddie Busch adding, "We know that we're her only friends." Of the portrait they both agreed it was "weird."

They actually own Clydesdale horses

Beautiful and majestic, Clydesdale horses have become synonymous with Budweiser beer. The Budweiser Clydesdale horses have appeared in Budweiser Super Bowl commercials, opening day at Busch Stadium, and been a long-time fixture at historic Grant's farm and Busch Gardens. Given the Busches raised their kids on farm life and horses were a big part of that, it makes sense that they carry on the tradition of owning Clydesdales.

"We have them on our farm. My dad takes us coaching. All of us know how to drive the coach. It's a big tradition in our family. We love our Clydesdales," daughter Haley Busch said in Entertainment Weekly. She also shared that their grandfather decided to make Clydesdales a part of their legacy because they're such unique animals. "They're giant dinosaurs and they're super-exotic, especially with the feathers that grow over their hooves," she said. Both Haley and Billy Busch Jr. describe the horses as being very gentle and sweet and Billy Jr. compared them to puppies.

Watching "The Busch Family Brewed" you can see the Clydesdales on the farm and in action. In the first episode, head of the family Billy Busch Sr. takes Christi Busch on a coach ride around the farm, reminiscing and musing about their plans for the new brewery. "Do you know how long I've been driving you on this coach? Thirty-two years now," Billy Sr., said as he drove through their property.

Grace Busch is skilled at many things

When "The Busch Family Brewed" started filming, Grace Busch was 21 years old and attending University of Mississippi, which she would graduate from when the show started airing, according to her Facebook page (via Heavy). And it would appear the young woman has more than her fair share of options for a future. Along with being an accomplished equestrian rider and jumper, she also excels in dance, polo, and snowboarding.

Grace's siblings describe her as blunt, unafraid to speak her mind. They also seem to agree she's the best dancer in the family, and Christi Busch says that she takes after her mother. But her siblings also call her the most hard-working of the kids. "She has a strong worth ethic, she has to get things done," her mother said in an MTV preview. Along with pics of her jumping her horse, her Instagram page is filled with snaps of her in beautiful gowns, checked in at exotic locations as she is also an avid traveler. 

Billy Busch Jr.'s personal life became a family matter

Billy Busch Jr., is the oldest of the seven children featured on "The Busch Family Brewed." As of Season 1, he'd been dating Marissa Morgan for about a year and when Billy Jr. brought up the possibility of moving in with her, the family — including best friend Jake Fusia — didn't take the news well. In fact, it appeared they practically staged an intervention in which they told him to slow down. This was after an incident in Texas where Morgan felt attacked and basically accused of being a gold digger.

In a subsequent episode, Fusia tells his family he wants to get serious with Morgan but can't do that under the family roof. "I do not condone living together," Christi responded. At one point Morgan spoke up to defend herself. "I really don't understand why all of you are so hostile. You said really hurtful things to me," she told them. When the family continued to argue and question his girlfriend, Billy Jr. demanded an apology but didn't get one.

During a groundbreaking event for the new brewery, Billy Jr. made a show of grabbing a mic and Morgan's hand for an announcement, prompting Christi to walk off, thinking he was going to propose. Instead, he said Morgan would move to St. Louis and the two would figure out how to make it all work, much to his mother's relief. As of this writing, Billy Jr.'s Instagram suggests he and Morgan did not stay together. 

Billy Busch Sr. is worth a lot

As Billy Busch Sr. stated in episode 1 of "The Busch Family Brewed," "People perceive us as American royalty." And that long history of enterprise has brought in a fortune under the Busch name. Collectively, the whole Busch extended family's net worth is somewhere around $17 billion according to Forbes, where the Busch name has appeared as one of the richest families. Needless to say, Christi Busch is a long ways away from her middle class childhood; these reality stars are worth a serious amount of dough — or should we say barley? 

Billy Sr.'s net worth is listed on Celebrity Net Worth as $200 million. He had a nice head start from his father, August Busch Jr., who started Busch Gardens, bought the St. Louis Cardinals, and built Busch Stadium. And we know from the show he has at least two rather impressive homes in Missouri, one of which is the site location for the new brewery the family is building. Though his last attempt to enter the beer business, Kräftig, only lasted eight years compared to the Dynasty of A-B, Billy Busch Sr. was not giving up, this time aiming to build a brewery and distillery, per Distractify. While the show featured a groundbreaking event for the new brewery location it's not clear if the facility has been completed. However, Busch Family Brewing & Distilling has announced their first two beers, aptly named Adolphus (to honor his great-grandfather) and Gussie (in honor of his father).