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Drinks Industry Stands Out On Forbes Richest Families List

July 9, 2014

A wealth of families have made a fortune in the drinks industry, according to a new Forbes report on America’s richest families that appears in the magazine’s July 21st issue.

The report ranks the Busch family of St. Louis as the number-one beverage billionaires (they placed 17th overall among America’s richest families), with an estimated fortune of $13 billion. While the Busches long held majority control of brewing giant Anheuser-Busch, their efforts to diversify by selling off a significant stake in the company left them vulnerable when InBev made a play for A-B in 2008. InBev eventually acquired A-B for $52 billion.

The Brown family ranks number two among beverage billionaires (20th overall) at $11.6 billion. The Browns continue to hold majority ownership of Brown-Forman. The Gallo family, which has owned E.&J. Gallo Winery for more than 80 years, comes in third (25th overall) at $9.7 billion.

Also among America’s richest families are the Reyes family (the beer distribution giant ranks 29th overall at $8 billion), the Wirtz family of Wirtz Beverage (64th at $4.2b), the Coors family (81st at $2.9 billion), beer distributor John Anderson’s family (94th at $2.5 billion) and the Jackson family of Kendall-Jackson fame (100th at $2.3 billion).

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