William K Busch Brewing Company Launches Kräftig Lager and Kräftig Light

Categories: Beer
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Last week, the World Series trophy came back to St. Louis. This week sees the return of another tradition in the Gateway City: the Busch family brewing lager beer.

William K. Busch, son of August A. "Gussie" Busch Jr. and great-grandson of Adolphus Busch, this summer announced the founding of the William K Busch Brewing Company. Now, the brewery is ready to launch its first two offerings, Kräftig Lager and Kräftig Light.

Never studied German? Kräftig translates as strong or powerful -- and the umlaut above the a means that you pronounce it kreff-tig, not kraf-tig.

"We chose the name [Kräftig] because we plan to be a powerful new entry into the beer business," Gary Prindiville Jr., the brewery's vice president and chief operating officer, tells Gut Check.

The German word is also, of course, a nod to the Busch family's German heritage.

"It's also a unique name brand," Prindiville adds. "It doesn't look like any other company."

While St. Louis has seen a boom in craft breweries in recent years, the William K Busch Brewing Company is taking aim at the mainstream market -- "main-line beers" in the industry argot.

"The volume is in the main-line beers, the lagers and the lights" explains James F. Hoffmeister, the brewery's president and chief executive officer. "We said, nobody has been a new entry into this category for a long time, [and] we wish to be a national beer. Main-line beer was the way."

That said, the man in charge of brewing Kräftig will be familiar to St. Louis craft-beer aficionados: Marc Gottfried, formerly the head brewer at Morgan Street Brewery, where his "Golden Pilsner" won national acclaim.

Gottfried, whose official title is vice president/brewing and head brewmaster, says that it took two years to nail the recipe for Kräftig Lager and Kräftig Light. (Which recipe, by the way, uses only the classic combination of water, barley malt, hops and yeast; there is no rice, corn or other adulterants.)

"As a craft brewer, I made the best beer that I possibly could, regardless of the cost to the company," Gottfried says. "We're trying to do the same thing [here]."

The brewing process, he notes, is "frankly expensive" relative to its category.

While the William K Busch Brewing Company has national ambitions, the initial launch of Kräftig is confined to St. Louis. (The company plans to build a brewery here, but for now its beers are being brewed at City Brewing Co. in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.) Hoffmeister says that the plan is to have Kräftig available throughout Missouri and in southern Illinois by spring or summer of next year and then approach further rollout on a state-by-state basis.

Prindiville says that Kräftig has already generated quite a buzz about town: "Our story has gotten out there. The anticipation and enthusiasm in the marketplace has been good."

Kräftig Lager and Kräftig Light will be available at retail and on draft this Monday, November 7, but Hoffmeister reveals that the company has given permission for the beer to be sold now.

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11 comments
MoPro
MoPro

I see this as a wonderful flip o' the finger; not only to monolith InBev, but also to AABIII & IV, who sold out this town to the highest bidder. I hope that Billy sells enough Kraftig to drown all those assholes.

Sharon
Sharon

To Billy Busch,  Best of luck to you sir!.....  

Jmbart_2000
Jmbart_2000

since kraeftig means strong or powerful you should offer a stronger kraeftig beer (as in 9%) instead of watering the beer down to a light version. Not kraeftig at all.

Yellowmoon Mike
Yellowmoon Mike

Tried it, its ok, really average at best. Nothing to write home about. I'm sure your master plan to retake the market will be more successful than I would suspect. You've got the experience and the money to do it, and it could be worse.

T Reismunder
T Reismunder

Tried Kraftig Lager today and found it to be robust, flavorful, and very smooth and drinkable for an American Lager.  I'm spoiled after living in Germany for 21 years....This Lager puts Budweiser to shame.  Best American Lager I've had here.  This is not a "Craft Beer".Suggest that some critics stick to watered down Lights with no taste.

Thelogomat
Thelogomat

It's really not that good - I am assuming that they are also trying to subtly evoke the feeling of "craft beer" in the name.  BEER FAIL.

-Matt CockrumOwner/Designerhttp://thelogo-mat.com

Determined Democrat
Determined Democrat

I met both Mr. Busch and Mr. Prindiville last night (11/18) as they solicited my opinion of their brew.  I lived in Austria for 6 years so am spoiled by the best beers Europe has to offer.  I rarely drink beer in this country because most of it is wretched swill.  That being said, I genuinely enjoyed my taste of their Lager.  It's smooth, has a nice aroma, good blend of malt and hops, goes down well, tastes rich on the tongue, and lingers gently.  I will easily choose Kräftig Lager should I elect to imbibe beer.

Vincentgraye1
Vincentgraye1

I drank one bottle of Kraftig three days ago. I really liked it. I cant wait to try a draft beer. Good luck William.

Bottlecap3254
Bottlecap3254

I just sat down and had the two beers, both equally horrible. They taste bland and smell like a watery pilsner. They should just stay at home and realize that disposable income cannot buy a good beer. Get original.

Mackmp
Mackmp

God be with you!!!

Kuenstler
Kuenstler

This is so great! Good luck, Billy Busch and William K. Busch Brewing Co., and I can't wait to try the two beers!

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