I have always been a "Bud Man", so touring the historic Anheuser-Busch Brewery is a religious experience. Well, not quite. I do enjoy walking around the grounds, taking in the history. Beer has been brewed here since the mid-1800’s and the brewery has gone through many changes.
The Anheuser-Busch Brewery is housed in a series of buildings, built on a hill near downtown St. Louis. The Tour Center is located at the top of the hill. The Tour Center is not only the beginning of your brewery tour, but it is filled with items documenting Anheuser-Busch’s nearly 140-year-old history. You will see videos and display timelines containing original promotional lithographs, signs, advertisements, bottles, cans and a variety of other artifacts, some dating back to the 1860's. I am a huge NASCAR fan, so I really enjoyed the display showing items from Budweiser racing.
The first stop on the tour is the Clydesdale Stables. We are horse lovers, especially my kids. They have 4 horses that they ride daily, so seeing the clydesdales was a treat. The clydesdales are magnificent. Inside the stable is where the beautiful wagons, that are pulled by the clydesdales, are housed. We were also treated to a couple of dalmatians playing and jumping in the hay. The clydesdales, their tack, and wagons are very beautiful. But remember, you are in a stable. There is a definite odor.
You next visit the Brew House, with it‘s breathtaking clock tower. Built in 1891, the Brew House is the second national historic landmark you will see on the tour. When you first enter the courtyard, you are shown a short video documenting the history of Anheuser-Busch. Once the video is complete, you move into the Brew House and see where and how the beer is made. The first thing to hit you is the heat. It is about 90 degrees inside the Brew House. There are rows of stainless steel mash tanks, where the water and grains are mixed to begin the brewing process. The mash is then strained and the hops are added before fermentation.
At the next stop, you learn about the Beechwood Aging Process. This takes place in the Lager Cellar. A layer of Beechwood chips is spread on the bottom of the lager tanks. The beer is then aged about 3 weeks. This is process gives their beer its natural clarity and smooth taste.
At the bottom of the hill is the Bevo Packaging Plant. It was built in 1917 and is the single largest bottling plant in the world. You are not allowed to take pictures or video when you are inside the bottling plant.
You then jump onto a shuttle and head back up the hill to the Hospitality Room. You are invited to sample a couple of their beers. Of course, this is my favorite part of the tour. They also have a huge gift shop and the prices are not that bad.
A trip to Anheuser-Busch is highly recommended.