Scott is notorious for squeezing in last minute adventures and new things to do into our days.
Knowing this, it didn’t surprise me that he was determined to stop by the Anheuser-Busch factory in St. Louis, Missouri on our drive home from Arkansas.
We pulled into the parking lot right before their last hour of complimentary brewery experience tours began, so we hurried inside to see if we could still catch one. Lucky for us, we arrived just in time!
The St. Louis Anheuser-Busch factory is the largest and oldest brewery site because of its access to the Mississippi River, the large presence of German immigrants in the 1800’s, and the natural cave formations that were used to store beer prior to artificial refrigeration!
The brewery offers several different tours, and we were very pleased to find out that the complimentary one lasts around 45 minutes and includes two generous samples.
Sans reservations, we were handed two tickets to get into our tour group. Ten minutes later, we were exploring the property with a set of knowledgeable tour guides.
Our first stop was into the historic 1885 stables to see the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales.
I previously shared this photo as part of a collage on Instagram, and some of you didn’t think the horse was real! Too funny. Each group was able to walk up to the horse, pet him, and snap a photo or two. He was really sweet!
We continued to make our way around the grounds, and our guides made sure to acknowledge the Brew House and Old School House, both of which are National Landmarks. It was neat to find out that the Clock Tower is actually the second most photographed structure in the city, closely following the St. Louis Gateway Arch, of course.
We were happily surprised that the complimentary tour included a peek at the Brew Kettles and Beechwood Aging Cellars. We were told exactly how the cases of brews were made, as well as each and every step of what goes into one little can of Budweiser brew.
Everyone 21 years and older was able to sample a regular Budweiser or Bud Light in the walls of this room, and then again at the end.
Their beers are made from hops, barley malts, brewers yeast, water, and rice, and you can read all about the 7-step process here if you’re interested!
We learned that each and every batch of Budweiser is carefully observed over the course of the brewing process, and tasted by Brewmasters at least five times during its life at the brewery. There is a 3:00 p.m. daily tasting where Brewmasters gather to ensure the quality of every batch is ready to move on to the next step before becoming a finished product.
Would you believe it takes close to thirty days to brew one batch of Budweiser?
That’s a serious screening process!
At the end of the tour, we were invited to enjoy another free sample of a brew of choice and check out the Biergarten.
I ordered some kind of Shock Top and couldn’t believe how tall free sample #2 was!
Since we needed to get back on the road and drive another four hours to Chicago, we slowly took a few sips and split a hamburger and fries for an early dinner instead.
Either I was hungrier than I remember, or that burger was incredible! I remember leaving our Budweiser Beer Tour hour feely extremely content.
You can find more Anheuser-Busch factories across America in California, Colorado, Texas, Florida, and New Hampshire. If you ever visit a city that hosts a Budweiser Beer Tour (complimentary or upgraded), I highly suggest you stop in and see the process for yourself.
Thanks for a great time, Anheuser-Busch!
Previous posts on this vacation:
Have a great rest of your night, and I’ll see you back in the morning with What I Ate Wednesday!