I will say this just once in this post: Inbev. OK, now that we have that out of the way, can you believe I have lived in St Louis all my life and have been drinking Anheuser Busch products for nearly a decade and this past weekend was the first time I went on the brewery tour? The FREE brewery tour with the free beer? I know!
Usually I get my free beer with goats (at Grant's Farm, of course) but this year, the brewery is staying open late for just two Fridays in December so that you can check out their holiday light display while taking a walking tour of the plant. After hours just feels more special, even with 50 other people and tours departing on the half hour.
I was running late, so I didn't spend a whole lot of time on the exhibits in the tour center or in the gift shop, but I can tell you that both are expansive. I can also point out that custom AB carpet tile with the distinctive Budweiser "bowtie," because that's what I do. I can even tell you who makes it (Milliken.)
Onward to the stables! Some of the Clydesdales live here on the brewery property, in this fancypants stable that was built in 1885 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Sorry about the orbs in these photos. Stables are dusty (or are they HAUNTED?)
There are 6 "hitches" of Budweiser Clydesdales; 5 that travel around the country and one that resides at the brewery. There are two Clydesdale breeding farms, one at Grants Farm in St Louis and one in California.
Next up on the tour, the Mashing Room. This building is absolutely incredible. I think the thing I like the most about the AB headquarters is that they still make use of so many of the original buildings.
These hop vine chandeliers are from the 1904 World's Fair. If I remember right, they are 4 stories tall.
The copper grant is used by the brewmaster to check the wort for consistency and clarity as it comes out of the straining tank.
I love this tile mosaic that is on the first floor. They don't say anything about it on the tour, but I know there are also some original tile mosaics at Bevo Mill that they talk about if you can get a tour from the manager. All I remember is that they cost a fortune.
The next stop on the tour is the bottling plant. The next few pictures are from the lobby of the building.
You take several flights of escalators up, which feels like being in a department store, to the observation room above the plant.
The last stop on the tour is the hospitality room, where you get some pretzels and two free samples (about 6oz) of beer, or sodies for the kids. I highly recommend the Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale. This Friday, December 19th, from 6-9pm is your last chance to do the nighttime tour. You can find the regular hours for the brewery tour on the Budweiser Tours website.