Adolphus Busch was born in Germany on this day in 1839. An immigrant to the U.S., he co founded the firm later known as Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc., along with Eberhard Anheuser, his father-in-law. It would become one of the largest breweries in the world.

Busch was the youngest of 21 children born to his father, a wealthy German wine and brewer supplies source. Adolphus emigrated to the United States in 1857, settling in St. Louis.

In 1873, Adolphus discovered a means of pasteurizing beer so it could withstand temperature fluctuations, enabling the firm to distribute its beer on a nationwide basis. 

By 1901 the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association (as the company had been called since 1879) had surpassed its rival Pabst and was selling more than one million barrels of beer a year, making it the United States’ largest brewery.

This post was contributed by Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.

Photo credit: Blake Guidry, Unsplash