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Posted on May 2, 2016 in President's Picks

‘Beer Money’ named President’s Pick


Another BAM! President’s Pick was announced today, and unlike the previous pick, this one is a true story. Both fascinating and gut-wrenching, Beer Money tells the story of the rise and very dramatic fall of what was once one of the wealthiest families in America: the Stroh family of the eponymous beer empire.

Once the third-largest brewing company in the United States, the Stroh family was at the peak of its power in the early 1980’s following a series of high-profile acquisitions. But CEO Peter Stroh’s vision of rapid growth turned out to be too bold, and the company entered a tumultuous decade of declining margins, failed business deals and bitter family arguments. At one point worth $700 million — or an estimated $9 billion in today’s market — the Stroh family entered a downward spiral that would last twenty years, finally coming to an end in 2008 when the last of the checks dried up. Much of the blame is laid on the fourth generation Strohs: those like Peter Stroh who helped drive the business into the ground, and his brother Eric who spent much of his cut on lavish goods and imprudent expenses.

Eric’s daughter, Frances, is the author of Beer Money. In her book, Frances Stroh tells all: the lavish years jetting to New York and London on shopping trips, lunching at the Regency Hotel, and her father’s prized art and antiques collection. Stroh, now an artist herself, goes on to tell the story of the crumbling empire and the tumultuous infighting, drug and alcohol abuse, and of course the bitter arguments over money.

Frances Stroh Beer Money

Beer Money by Frances Stroh

“Frances Stroh’s ‘Beer Money’ is an unflinching and unforgettable story. This tale of the fall of a great American family is fascinating, riveting and ultimately redemptive. Gorgeous writing takes us on an amazing journey.”

Terrance G. Finley
President and CEO
Books-A-Million, Inc.

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