Busch Family Brewed siblings reveal 7 secrets about growing up in a beer dynasty
What's it like to grow up in a beer dynasty? From raging parties that never run out of libations to having Clydesdales on hand instead of cars, the Busch family is no ordinary family. So MTV is giving the public an inside look at the boozy brood with the upcoming reality series The Busch Family Brewed.
Centered on the descendants of the infamous Busch family — the founders and original owners of the beer brand — the half-hour reality series shows what it's really like to have a name synonymous with suds. And EW got the two eldest (of seven!) siblings, Billy Jr. ("the responsible one") and Haley ("the sweet one"), to reveal seven secrets of growing up as ale aristocracy.
1. They always keep traditions alive
One of the big events the series follows is the Busch family planning to break ground on a new brewery, which is more than just a business to them. "We’re trying to keep our family's traditions alive, to write the second chapter of our family’s brewing history, by building a brewery on our farm," Billy Jr. says. "Our great-great-grandfather Adolphus Busch, he came over from Germany and started Budweiser. He married Lily Anheuser and formed Anheuser-Busch. Unfortunately that was sold in 2008, so now we are the only Busches that are keeping the traditions alive by building this brewery. It hasn’t been done now in over 150 years."
2. They stay loyal to the legacy
While Haley admits that "it was never hard to get a beer" growing up, Billy Jr. says they always have to be careful to stay true to the family (brand) name while drinking.
"People pay a lot closer attention to what I’m drinking because they want to make sure I’m not slipping up and accidentally drinking a competitor’s beer," he says with a laugh. "I always get called out if I’m drinking something other than an AB product even though we don’t own AB anymore, which I find kind of weird! But it’s funny because people still do that all the time."
3. They drink beer when they're newborns (but not as underage teens)
Even hops heirs like the Busch kids aren't allowed to drink beer until they're 21. "My mom definitely kept a close eye on us," Haley says, laughing. "She threatened us. We were never allowed to do anything like that."
"But actually the first thing we had straight out of the womb was a drop of Budweiser," Billy Jr. adds. "It’s the first thing we try coming into this world — it’s another one of our family’s traditions. The dads will take a little bit of Budweiser on their finger and swipe it in the baby’s mouth right out of the womb."
4. Yes, they've got Clydesdales at home
Those gigantic horses aren't just for show in beer commercials. "We grew up with Clydesdales," Haley says. "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. They’re so cute."
Billy Jr. adds that it's yet another one of the Busch family traditions they make sure to keep alive. "Our dad was taught by his dad, who was taught by his dad, and now our dad is passing the reins over to us — literally," he says. "It’s scary at first, but it’s a blast."
The Busch family loves "hopping in the wagon and driving around the farm on a nice day" with their Clydesdales, Haley says. "It’s a really fun time. We have two right now on our farm. They're massive."
But despite their gigantic stature, the Busch brother says they're "just like puppy dogs."
"Missy is named after Mississippi, where I went to college, Ole Miss," he says. "And the other one is Callie, after California, since Haley went to Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. They’re giant dinosaurs and they’re super-exotic, especially with the feathers that grow over their hooves. That’s one of the things that really attracted our grandad Gussie Busch to them, because he was really fond of those exotic features."
"They’re like giant teddy bears," Haley says. "People get intimidated because they’re so massive. They’re these huge animals, but they’re so loving. They’ll come up and put their head on your shoulder. They just want to be around you. They’ll come running up to you and it can be scary for some people, but they’re sweet animals."
5. Those aren't the only exotic animals they've got
"Our parents actually met because our dad was the elephant trainer and our mom was the monkey trainer where our dad grew up on our family’s land that our grandad Gussie Busch turned into an exotic animal park," Billy Jr. says. "We had access to crazy animals and stuff like that growing up, and we still do, which is amazing — like riding elephants around the property when we were little."
6. Their mom is always watching over them… literally
Every one of the seven Busch siblings has a giant portrait of their mother, Christi, holding them as a baby hanging in their room. And the self-described helicopter mom won't let any one of them take it down.
"They’ve been up there for so long that we’re just used to them being there now," Haley says. "I’ve never tried to take it down, but it is funny. When our friends come over they’re like, 'Why is there a giant picture of your mom in your room?'"
But Billy Jr. is quick to add, "I’ve attempted several times to take it down. It’s always gone back up. That’s just how controlling my mom is."
"It reminds us all that she’s" — Haley begins, before they both finish — "always watching."
7. Their most private moments are caught on camera
The Busch Family Brewed cameras started rolling right when Haley (and the rest of her family) began wondering if her long-term relationship was about to take the next step with an engagement. So of course her big private moment was caught on camera.
"It’s definitely not easy," she admits. "When all of us signed up to do this, we said that if we’re going to do it, we’re going to put everything out there. We’re not going to hold back. This is our real lives and we’re going to be true to who we are, and so we all really did that. That was a part of my life and something that happened. It’s definitely not easy to show that, some things got uncomfortable, but it’s real life and what you see is what you get."
The Busch Family Brewed airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on MTV.