If you’re in St. Louis, there’s one thing that you obviously must do – tour the Anheuser-Busch brewery! By the end of our day at Anheuser-Busch, it was apparent how much time and effort goes into the small details of the tour – from meticulously clean grounds to the strategically placed photo ops – it was like the Disney World of brewery tours.
As soon as you walk up to the visitor’s entrance, you start to notice the details that add to the grandeur of the brewery. Arriving around 3:30 on a Friday with a group of 10+, we weren’t sure if we would have to wait to join a tour but we all got (free!) tickets right away. Two guides start the tour inside with a narration of the history of the brewery. The location of the brewery was chosen due to it’s access to the mighty Mississippi River, making transportation of supplies and beer easier.
During prohibition, the brewery had to cease production of beer, but dabbled in producing other items such as soap until restrictions were lifted in 1933. According to our tour guides, a week-long ranging party was held when prohibition ended. Why they had plenty of beer to go around when it had been illegal to brew it is still a mystery to this day.
After our quick history lesson, we walked outside and immediately saw beautiful Budweiser Clydesdales in the field with their handlers. The horses are rotated throughout the day between the stables and the field when they’re on site at the brewery. Teams are sent all around the country to take place in festivals, fairs, parades, and other special events. Each horse has to meet specific requirements regarding their coloring, size, and temperament in order to make it as an official Budweiser Clydesdale.
While we saw many horses at the St. Louis brewery, others are raised at Grant’s Farm outside of the city, Boonville, MO, and Romoland, California.
We moved on from the horse stables and continued on our tour where we learned where their ingredients come from and different steps along the brewing process. They made sure to offer everyone a free Budweiser or Bud Lite about half way through so no one would be thirsty.
The buildings throughout the tour were nothing short of spectacular and historic. Made completely of brick, they looked as if they could have been built yesterday instead of a century ago.
Our tour concluded at the Bier Garden where we were treated to another free beer. This outside pavilion was fitted with strings of large lights overhead, great music, and a fun atmosphere. Because it was coming up to rush hour (and because the beer was so good) we decided to stay for a few more drinks.