Beer Money

826-100A portion of the proceeds from BEER MONEY will be donated to 826michigan in support of their new tutoring center in Detroit, which serves children in under-served schools.


A Memoir of Privilege and Loss

In BEER MONEY: A Memoir of Privilege and Loss, Frances Stroh reveals the complexities of her childhood and coming of age as a member of Detroit’s Stroh’s Beer family, once in possession of the largest private beer fortune in America. Declining from Forbes 400 to nearly penniless in sixteen years, the Stroh Brewery Company suffered a rapid and precipitous loss of market share during the 1980s and 1990s. The slow unraveling of Frances’ nuclear family, in the face of her father’s alcoholism and her brother’s drug addiction, coupled with the loss of the family’s legacy, is seen with brutal honesty and unsettling detail through Frances’ unwavering lens—much like a time-lapse film of psychological erosion. BEER MONEY: A Memoir of Privilege and Loss is at once a recollection of a city, an industry, and a dynasty in decline, and the story of a young artist who struggles to find her way out of the ruins.



“How does a family dynasty die? In her image rich memoir, BEER MONEY, Frances Stroh asks the question with heroic honesty, from the inside.”
San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

“Stroh’s absorbing memoir suggests that most coccoons are permeable and that privilege is relative.”
NYTimes Book Review

“Beer Money” could have been another rich-people-have-problems-too story. What lends it a particularly salient zing at this moment, though, is Stroh’s argument that her family’s privilege also came with substantial costs.”
The Washington Post

“Stroh writes candidly and insightfully about…the unsettling truth that unconditional love, much like money, sometimes comes in limited supply. The author’s family might have successfully burned through a massive fortune, but they squandered a lot more than that. A sorrowful, eye-opening examination of familial dysfunction.”
Kirkus Reviews

“On the heels of Miller and Bud, there was another great American beer company made all the better because it was family owned in the heart of a great midwestern city – Detroit. Yes Frances Stroh’s Beer Money is about the unraveling of an American family empire, but it’s about so much more. There are prep school expulsions and drug busts, messy divorces, and a Hare Krishna encounter with Annie Lennox. And there’s the evolution of a great American brand. Remember the Swedish Bikini Team ads? Or, ‘It just doesn’t get any better than this?’ I thought of Sean Wilsey’s great memoir as I read this, but what makes Stroh’s book so particular are the class contradictions. In movie terms think Ralph Lauren meets Old Milwaukee. Oh, and it’s also a very moving and powerful story of one young woman’s coming of age.”
— Tom Barbash, author of Stay Up With Me

“Of course, the Strohs’ story is fascinating in itself. But what makes this memoir special is Frances Stroh’s clear, brave voice. Free of regret or judgment, she renders even her family’s darkest moments with grace and love. A page-turner in the very best sense.”
— Katie Crouch, New York Times bestselling author of GIRLS IN TRUCKS and ABROAD

“In Beer Money, Frances Stroh takes us on a fascinating—and often chilling—journey into the world of dark privilege. In prose that is both beautiful and unflinching, Stroh tells a riveting story about the fall of an American family, an American city, and possibly the American Dream itself.”
— Janis Cooke Newman, author of A Master Plan for Rescue

“Beer Money is one of those memoirs you neither put down nor forget. I’ll remember Frances Stroh’s family—and the beautifully candid, honest and often unforgettable voice she uses to describe them—for a long time. I was very moved by this book.”
— George Hodgman, New York Times bestselling author of BETTYVILLE

“A compelling story of loss, but also of the resiliency needed to forgive the past and forge a new future. The Strohs may have lost the trappings of the American Dream, but Frances Stroh finds something of greater value: compassion for family despite—and because of—their missteps and flaws.”
— Melissa Coleman, New York Times bestselling author of THIS LIFE IS IN YOUR HANDS