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Killepitsch – a family owned company for 5 generations

Killepitsch – A real Düsseldorfer specialty

Everyone knows Killepitsch but very few people know that the liqueur factory Peter Busch GmbH & Co. KG is behind the popular herbal liqueur. Spirits have been produced by the Busch Family since 1858. After moving out of the old town of Düsseldorf in 2005 and moving into the modern factory in Medienhafen, Killepitsch, Applepitsch, GIN Pitsch and Vodkapitsch are now made by Peter Busch (4th generation) and Katharina Busch (5th generation) in the state of the art facility.

How it all began:



Neatly traded

Together with his wife Johanna, Peter Busch opens a shop for wine, spirits and spices in the house “Zum Düffke” (dovelet) on Bolkerstraße in Düsseldorf.


A source of opportunity

The Busch couple moves their business to Hohestraße 50. The shop is very conveniently located. It is only a short hop to the much-visited Graf-Adolf-Platz. The new shop also has an attached distillation facility, making it the cradle of the liqueur factory.


The Roaring 20s

Son Peter Jacob takes over the thriving business on Hohestrasse and expands the range of wines and spirits.


Necessity is the mother of invention

With Hans Busch, the third generation takes over the well-known specialty shop on Hohestrasse. Even in difficult times they are there for their customers: When the shop was completely destroyed by bombs in 1943, they set up makeshift facilities in Hohestraße 51 across the way and, as far as the alcohol rationing of the time allowed, produced the coveted “Schabäuke” spirits.


Phoenix from the Ashes

After the end of the war and the currency reform, Hans Busch and his brother Willi begin to rebuild the popular specialty shop in the parent company at Hohestraße 50, which is successful within a very short time.


1950s – Flavored

In 1950, the Busch brothers opened a modern winery and liqueur factory at Bastionstraße 9. At the same time, they set up another shop in the “Haus zum Helm” on Flingerstrasse 1.
In 1955, the wine and liqueur bar “Et Kabüffke” opened its doors at Flingerstraße 1. The star of the show became the herbal liqueur, Killepitsch, which was served for the very first time.


1980 – Today – Nothing ventured, nothing gained

1984 – Hans Peter Busch takes the company into the wide world and opens the shop and bar in the Delikatessa, the delicatessen market in Carsch Haus.
1995 – Hans Peter Busch takes over the management of the family business.
2005 – After the production facility in the old town had become too small, Hans Peter Busch built the modern factory for Killepitsch at Holzstraße 4 in Düsseldorf’s Medienhafen.
2018 – Katharina Busch joins management and continues the family tradition in the fifth generation. The recipes for Applepitsch, GIN Pitsch and Vodkapitsch are developed and implemented together with her father.

A real Düsseldorfer specialty

Once upon a time …

… during the second World War two old friends, Hans Müller Schlösser, the unforgettable creator of “Schneider Wibbel”, and Willi Busch, the old master of Carnival customs were huddled in an air raid shelter, as they so often were whilst the bombs rained down outside. “I say,” said Willi, “if this goes on, they will kill us too!”


“But not as long as the two of us still have something left to drink,” said Hans. “We can´t drink what we haven´t got,” replied Willi. “How can you say that? You brew your own, don´t you?” retorted Hans. “I can´t,” said Willi, “We´re not allowed to. But I’ll tell you one thing, Hans. If we get through this without getting killed, I´ll brew some­thing for you, a real lip-smacker. That will be some drink. And I’ll tell you what, we will call it ‘Killepitsch’.”


And so ‘Killepitsch’ was born, but it hadn´t become a specialty until 1955, when the small, well-stored Et Kabüffke bar opened on Flinger­straße 1 in the heart of the old town.

Hans came up to his friend Willi on the opening night. “Hey, Willi, what came of the ‘Killepitsch’ idea? I bet you´ve forgotten all about it!” he taunted him. “No,” said Willi. “I hadn´t forgotten-it´s been ready for ages-Cheers!” “Mmm, it smells delicious, like a garden of herbs, strong, full and not too bitter. It must be good for digestion, too-it slips down a treat!”


This has been the reaction of many people trying ‘Killepitsch’ ever since. The old town and ‘Killepitsch’ will forever belong together.