The guarded formula for Killepitsch is a recipe of the Busch family, distillers from Dusseldorf, dating back to 1858. The name "Killepitsch" came from Willi Busch who while in an air-raid shelter during the Second World War, promised to toast new beginnings with his friend Hans Müller-Schlösser if they survived. The message to his friend was "If they don't 'KILL' us now, we will have a chance to 'PITSCH'" (local vernacular for drink), creating the name "Killepitsch."
The brand was formally launched in the 1950s. Today, Killepitsch is still produced in Dusseldorf by the family heir, Peter Busch.