What visit to St. Louis would be complete without a stop at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery?
The “Budweiser Tour” was actually our first stop during our weeklong visit to the Gateway City.
This marked our fourth time at the brewery. It’s a fun place to go. You get a free tour, and if you’d like to imbibe, a few free beers (or sodas).
The visitors center was a small museum. It housed old bottles of beer, as well as a display of current drinks.
An old brewery truck sat just off the main area.
A display of guitars featuring American cities – such as St. Louis, Austin, San Francisco and San Antonio – sat in the welcome center. Each guitar featured artwork relative to the city, such as skyline, etc.
One of my favorite spots on the tour is the Clydesdale stables.
We lucked out during our walk from the visitors center to the stable. A couple of horses were actually out in the pen area. So, our group stopped to take in the sight of these majestic creatures.
The stable is an interesting area. The middle is used for photographs. The outside ring holds the horses.
As we checked out the Clydesdales, I noticed a Dalmatian dog sleeping in one of the horse pens. He looked quite content to get some zzzz’s in the straw.
The horses are very handsome. They’re so tall. Not many of them wanted to check out the humans; rather, they were content with showing us their backsides. Maybe they were sending a message. Ha!
Moving along, we actually checked out the reason for the tour – the making of beer.
In one of the brew houses, we checked out a couple of tanks. The beechwood tanks, where the brew gets aged.
There are four floors of these giant tanks, with six on a floor. Each tank makes more than 25,000 beers. That makes for one big party! The beechwood chips can be cleaned and used a few times. Once their use is exhausted, they are recycled into mulch for landscaping.
The guides explained the process for making Budweiser and its partner beers, such as Busch. They showed us the hops, wheat, barley and then water that go into making the world’s most popular brews.
We strolled along the bottling line. Thousands of bottles and cans get filled and packaged daily. I chuckled at one point, because we took a tour of a small brewery in Omaha recently, where the bottles are filled by hand. I couldn’t imagine having to fill Budweiser by hand.
The actual 7-block walk on the grounds fascinated me even more than the brewing process.
The history of the area impressed me. One building once housed one of the first schools in St. Louis. Another had been used during the Civil War.
The “Budweiser” building once produced non-alcoholic drinks during Prohibition. Bevo the fox was used as the mascot for Bevo beer. Bevo sits on the four corners outside the building having a Bevo “beer” with his lunch.
The final stop of the tour is the tasting room. Guests can partake in a few free brews in the Anheuser-Busch family. We do not drink a lot (as I have mentioned in previous brewery tour posts). However, we did try a couple of beers.
Lisa had a Shock Top honey-crisp apple wheat. It had a sweet taste to it. Call it a fruit beer.
I had a Land Shark lager. It had a smooth taste. It reminded me of some German beers.
Overall, we enjoyed the two we sampled. If we drank regularly, we probably would have tried others. But, since a few sips is about all we can muster, we tapped out our taste buds.
The brewery tour is always a fun way to spend a couple of hours in St. Louis. In my view, no visit is complete without a tour there.