With only a day to sightsee in St. Louis, we were selective on what things we were going to do. After spending the morning at the Gateway Arch, and meeting up with friends for lunch, we decided to go to the Anheuser-Busch brewery
TO SEE THE HORSIES!! to see how the most popular beer brand is made.
We arrived at 2:30pm, but the next available tour wasn’t until 3:45pm, so we had some time to kill. (Pro tip: hit the brewery first thing in the morning if you plan on taking the Complimentary Tour, otherwise you too will experience a long wait.) Luckily, they have a wonderful bar where you can acquire any beer that InBev makes to enjoy while you wait.
The lobby area of the AB Brewery has a lot of things to do while you wait for your tour to begin, from relaxing on plush leather couches while sipping your beer, to browsing the shops for souvenirs, and perusing the exhibits placed throughout the public area. After being sick on Thursday, and the exhaustion that follows gamedays, I took the opportunity to sit on one of the couches in peace, and enjoy a Michelob Golden Light. I’m a bit of beer snob, but this one came highly recommended, and I quite enjoyed it. It’s a shame you can’t get this one in DC.
Once our tour began, 95 minutes after we arrived, they give the people what they want right off the bat.
The first stop on the tour was the paddock for the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales. To be a Budweiser Clydesdale, a horse must have an auburn coat, four white stockings, and a black mane and tail. Many more Clydesdales live at Grant Farm. We were lucky, the clydesdales were out in the paddock for the afternoon and posing for photos. The tour group sizes are huge (40+ people) so make sure you get to the front or back of the group if you want to take photos.
After stopping at the paddock, the guides took us to the stables to see the other clydesdales, and their Dalmatian mascot, Clyde. Dalmatians have been the Budweiser mascot since March 1950, and travel with the each of the Clydesdale hitches, seated next to the driver atop the wagon.
After the stables, the group stopped in brew cellars. They are massive. There are 66 tanks in this room alone, and 375 tanks on the St. Louis campus. To drink all of the beer in this room, you would have to drink one beer every hour, or a 24pk a day, for the next 137 years. Too much Bud.
Next we moved on to the area of the plant where the mashing tanks are kept. I wish I could tell you what all happens during this part of the brew process, but our tour guide spoke really fast and hustled us out of this area as fast as she could.
You get two free beverages on the tour. One comes as a tasting in the middle of the tour when they sit you down and explain what ingredients are used in beer, and then give an overview of the brewing process. The other is a full-sized beverage at the end of the tour.
Overall I wasn’t too impressed with the tour. But you also get what you pay for, and it was free. While I can appreciate that they want to make the tour accessible to everyone, there were 50+ people in our tour group, one tour guide (who spoke really quickly so she was hard to understand), and they shuttled everyone through the entire tour in 45 minutes. Smaller groups, or slightly longer tours where the gropu isn’t rushed could make all the difference. That being said, I recommend going to the Anheuser Busch Brewery and maybe doing one of the other tours. They are smaller and longer, and go to many more areas of the brewery so you can really get in-depth tour experience. But if nothing else, I got to see horsies!
You can see more photos from my day of sightseeing in St. Louis over at my St. Louis Photography portfolio page.