Monday, August 11, 2008

The Anheuser-Busch Brewery: No One Could Have Predicted The Awesomeness

St. Louis has several major attractions which boast free admission: portions of The Arch, many features in Forest Park including the famous St. Louis Zoo, and tours of the old courthouse. None, however, even begin to compare to the free tour offered at the Anheuser-Busch brewery.

I will admit that of the ten of us our expectations for this tour were relatively low. I mean, it's a free tour. What should one expect? We knew there was talk of free samples (Dixie cup teasers, I imagined) and rumblings of viewings of the famous Clydesdales (probably from a spot 1/2 mile from their designated locations, I assumed). I had no idea how in-depth and, frankly, how impressive this tour would end up being. Even those among us who are solidly in the non-beer drinker camp were impressed.

Because I don't want to tarnish the Anheuser-Busch name and legacy with my lame attempts at witty commentary, I will give to you the photographic highlights (and accompanying captions when appropriate) of The Tour from a Beer Lover's Perspective.

Two people who have done their share to keep this company in business.

The cleanest stable and tack room I've ever seen. Each horse had its own locker!
The General standing under his namesake's sign.

Seeing the settling tanks for the first time.

He didn't cry at our wedding or the birth of his daughters, but this was just too much.

The company logo was everywhere!

Learning about how beer is made, wondering how we can turn the corn and bean crop into a family hops farm.

Never in a million years would I have expected the intricate, original detailing. Who puts a chandelier in a beer factory? And see those windows behind the first railing? That's where the brew masters taste test the products each and every day at 3 pm. Those lucky bastards.

It was at this point that The General asked our tour guide, Anna, if he could just hop in that open door and swim in the beer vat. She didn't exactly say no, but she advised against it saying "It's pretty hot in there". And yes. We were "those people" on the tour.

Wuzzzup, Adolphus. We love you.

We could see this sign from our hotel room. I had sweet dreams after making that observation.

The packaging plant.

Bottles of beer. Lots and lots of tasty beer.

The final stop on our tour, the hospitality room. It was here that we discovered that Bare Knuckle Stout is nasty and that Mrs. MC loves her some mango flavored Bacardi Mojitos.

Overall, I thought the tour was excellent and was probably my favorite part of our entire trip. Not only was the tour informative, but the architecture was amazing and the grounds were absolutely gorgeous. It's yet another reason I told The General that I want to come back to St. Louis, only next time we're shelling out the big bucks to take the Beer Master tour. Taste testing straight out of the finishing tank? Sign me up, Nancy. I am so there.


for a different kind of girl said...

It's been a long time since I've taken the Bud tour, but I remember how fabulous it was, and when it was over, wondering if we could get in line and do it again immediately. I've done it a few times! I just hope, now that the company has been sold, that the beautiful grounds and tradition of the company and the tour stay the same.

Love your Arch photos, too. The first time I was locked in one of those elevator cars like a bug, I thought I'd go out of my mind, but seeing the view was so worth the stress!

Looks like you had a great time. I love St. Louis.

Tina said...

Maybe the family can start doing brewery tours every year - may I suggest the Leinenkugel's tour in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin? Another fantastic tour!

Rikki said...

We did that last summer. You did a great job describing the wonderfulness of it all!

Don't worry, Starchy and I were with our old college friends and our obnoxiousness was through the roof as well. Good times...


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