Recently on a trip to St. Louis the bf and I had the chance to tour the Anheuser-Busch facility. I'm not much of a beer drinker myself but I do find the process interesting. Say what you will about craft beer as well but these people are really good at mass producing a consistent product. The tour starts off in the swanky visitor center, tickets must be obtained for the every 15 minute tours although they are free. The visitor center has nice displays on the company history and a gift shop - it's the Disney of beer y'all. It actually reminds me a lot of chocolate world in Hershey, PA.
While waiting for the tour to start we snapped some fun photos as there were plenty of points of interest to photograph.
Our tour began promptly at our scheduled time with a brief overview of the company's beginnings. After showing our tickets the first stop was to see the famous Clydesdales who live in what was once the Busch family's private stables.
The inside of the stables are gorgeous, if nothing else this tour is great for the architecture.
After the stables we had our photo professionally taken - nice way to make money on a free tour, well done AB.
Next we cooled off in the 55 degree carbonation tank building, its step 6 in the 7 step beer making process. Each tank holds enough beer that you'd have to drink one an hour for 137 years to finish, so no beer drinkers you will never in your life drink and an entire tank of beer.
After this we moved on to the brewing house where we were offered fresh from the line samples of Budweiser or bud light, Shaun said it tasted the same as stuff that is bottled and distributed. This building had very beautiful grounds and was a great photo opp stop
Inside there was seating and boards displaying the entire beer making process. Everyone enjoyed their samples as we learned about the process and had q&a.
Presentation over we headed upstairs to visit the brewing tanks. The craftmanship of the building is gorgeous! This was my favorite pic of the entire weekend.
After this we walked across Designated Driver Drive (clever) and to the bottling facility. The process is very fast!
This concluded the tour and we got on trolleys that took us the whole 7 blocks to the visitor center, I guess they know their customers aren't very physically fit but even I thought this was a bit much. Despite being currently owned by a Belgian company there's definitly an overtone of Budweiser being branded as "THE American beer". I felt like politicians were going to pop out ant any time and tell us how Budweiser is their beer of choice. I did really enjoy the tour, our two guides were very enthuiastic about the product and it's easy to tell there's plenty of pride that goes into beer making here.
Back at the visitor center we entered the biergarden and waited in line to exchange our tickets for a full size beer. While in line we were shown our professional photo, since it was Shaun's birthday I bought as a nice memento of the weekend - it did come with several photos and magnet frames for the $20 we spent. The biergarden ambiance is really nice.
The line was super long but we finally got some drinks! There were many beers on tap and even a frozen limearidia machine - which is what I had. Soon AB will be offering a hard cider. If you drink alcohol they really are trying to offer something you like.
The st Louis hockey team was in a playoff game and they had a tv so it was very crowded. There was also live music, which was very nice. We would up sitting on some outdoor couches in the back and ordered a few snacks. Both the food and beer prices were very reasonable - very encouraging to stick around and enjoy the product. loved these pretzels, if we didn't have reservation I totally would have gotten more.
If you're in St Louis for the weekend or live locally I'd strongly recommend this for a date. Buy food and perhaps a 2nd drink so you don't seem like you're trying to be cheap. If you're not in St Louis I bet your town has a local brewery you could tour and then grab a bite at a casual place after. I think it would certainly win creativity points for a 1st date and if you don't hit it off there's always the beer to focus on.
Total for this date:
2 tours free
2 drinks free
Tax and Tip $5
$20 with $20 to save for a future date, woohoo!