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entrance area and parking lots
Photo Credit: guyonthego

Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tours

12th and Lynch Street St. Louis, MO 63118
Sep.-May open Mon.- Sat. 10am-4pm and Sun. 11:30am-4pm, longer hours in summer
(314) 577-2626 2 hours
July 2015 Summer, Fall, Spring
$0-19 St. Louis Missouri
Website Food/Drinks Breweries
First review
 
The complimentary Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour is a 45 minute walking tour around a small portion of the vast 118 acre St. Louis brewery site. The tour visits two buildings used in the beer making process and also a stable where some of the famous Budweiser Clydesdales may be present. During the tour a modest portion of beer can be sampled, and afterwards a more generous glass of one of the many company beer brands is offered. The free tour does not require a reservation, but lines are not uncommon during busier times such as on holidays and weekends. Therefore, it's a good idea to factor in enough time for a wait when you visit.

Anheuser-Busch is a great American success story, and was an iconic American company till 2008 when it was acquired by InBev. The company was started by George Schneider, a German American, but eventually was acquired in 1860 by William D'Oench, a local pharmacist, and Eberhard Anheuser. Following the US Civil War, Adolphus Busch became involved in the company and eventually purchased D'Oench’s interest. It was Busch who was primarily responsible for the company’s transition from a small regional brewer into a national operation. Also, Busch introduced the very popular Budweiser brand following a tour of European brewers in the 1870s. Anheuser-Busch was one of the few large brewers that survived Prohibition. It did so by diversifying into new lines of business and from the strength of its marketing. Following World War II, the company enjoyed significant growth and introduced new beers such as the innovative Bud Light. It also expanded business operations into theme parks. Approximately half of all beer sold in the US today is brewed by Anheuser-Busch.

The tour departs from and returns to a visitor center and biergarten. Here you can pick up souvenirs like a t-shirt or baseball cap and get something to eat. Also, you can sample the various company brews. As for the tour, it was fairly short and fairly crowded. There were probably about 60-70 people in the group. A couple of young guides provided information about both the company and the beer making process but it was hard to hear them, and the information was not especially interesting. Learning about how beer was made was less meaningful than actually seeing the process in action, especially viewing the huge equipment up close. Also, the sprawling size of the facility itself was notable. One building which the group visited in which the beer mash was cooked was about 20 degrees hotter than the summertime heat outside, so a visit there was thankfully somewhat short. For fans of the Budweiser Clydesdales horses, there was a short visit to a stable, which enabled people to get some pictures. These horses were bred for work like drafting and pulling and are huge beasts.

If you are enjoy beer and prefer a quick overview to see how it’s produced, this facility is not a bad place to spend an hour or two. Don’t expect much insight or substance though. This is a basic tour and designed for the masses – high volume and low content. It was sufficient though to get a taste of things and then to enjoy a tasty beer of choice in the biergarten. If you seek something more informative and meaningful, additional tours are offered for a fee. These are longer in duration and are conducted in smaller groups. Examples include a history tour of some of the facilities, as well as a beer school tour which teaches how beer is made and should be consumed. Reservations should be made for these types of tours.
Author:
guyonthego
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