St Louis is rich with American History ranging from stories of the Westward expansion, World’s Fair, Railroad hubs to breweries.
Whether you’re a beer drinker or not, when Adolphus Busch joined Eberhard Anheuser’s (his father-in-law) company they dramatically changed the way American’s do business.
Through the years they made advances in pasteurization and refrigerated rail cars, to improvements used in today’s Ethanol production. Even their delivery methods have affected how goods arrive in grocery stores globally. The Anheuser-Busch family has left their mark on history and have provided jobs for hundreds of thousands.
When considering things to do in St. Louis, the free Anheuser-Busch Brewery is near the top of most lists. It isn’t often the general public can tour a working factory, especially one that seems more like a museum than a production plant.
They have a large welcoming room where you sign up for a tour time. The groups range in size up to about 50 people. While waiting for your tour, they have kiosks and helpful guides to help you plan your stay in St Louis and pass your wait time quickly.
The first stop on the tour was to see the Clydesdale horses and stables. After an informative history lesson we toured about five large plant areas from fermentation to refrigeration. The kids enjoyed seeing all of the pipes, valves, robotic arms, and industrial control systems. The last stop on the tour was their packaging plant where we saw aluminum cans being formed by factory machines and boxes stacked on pallets. The kids loved seeing things in action!
The tour took about an hour and a half. Much of the tour was on foot but it was somewhat downhill. Elevators took us up, but we walked back down using the stairs. At the end of the tour (at the bottom of the hill) guests board a trolley to take them back to a “cafeteria” area where guests could taste sodas and brews. Be aware that the plant is very slow (often with nothing running) on weekends and the tours are more packed. Instead, we’d recommend arriving early any weekday.
I was astonished by the architecture of the huge buildings surrounding the facility. It was beautiful from the wrought-iron fences, stain glass windows, to the crafted gardens and lamp posts.
Be aware that this is a live fermentation plant and some might not appreciate the smell after a couple of hours.