The Haps: The Anheuser-Busch Brewery: The happiest place in St. Louis

| Scene Events Columnist
(David Carson | St. Louis Post-Dispatch | MCT)

(David Carson | St. Louis Post-Dispatch | MCT)

Let’s face it. St. Louis is really only known for three things: the Arch, the Cards and Bud. After living here for a while, you begin to take some of these things for granted, especially Anheuser-Busch products. There’s always Bud Light at the bars and Natural Light (more commonly known as “Natty Light”) at parties, so we forget that the Anheuser-Busch brewery is a great part of St. Louis’ history and culture. To reconnect with these roots, why not stop by the brewery and take a free tour?

That’s right, the tour is free and includes complimentary samples at the end for those over 21 years old. Tours of the brewery, which is located off the Arsenal exit of Interstate 55, run about every half hour depending on the day of the week and the time of season.

The brewery tour begins in an area surrounded by displays of the company’s history. This is where you’ll be greeted by your cheery, headset-wearing tour guide. Like most tour guides, those at the brewery have plenty of fun facts and cheesy jokes, but they also have a slightly snarky manner befitting of a historical, alcohol-producing landmark.

The tour goes through the buildings that house each stage of the brewing process: brewing, aging, packaging, etc. This sets it apart from a lot of other brewery tours, like the Guinness factory tour, because you actually see parts of an active factory. The machines are not empty, cut open and put on display for you to see their innards; rather, they are fully functional and full of the beer you may one day be drinking.

The tour also goes through the famous Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale stables, which house the horses used in their commercials. The horses really are huge; it’s not just a camera trick that makes them look big on TV. The decorative details in these horses’ stalls would fit better in a cathedral than a barnyard. They’ll definitely have you wondering why a place that smells like horse manure is nicer than your dorm room.

Of course, the reason most people go on the tour is for the hospitality room at the end. This is where those who are over 21 (of course they card) get two decently sized samples. While they don’t have every product available, they do offer ones like Michelob pomegranate raspberry, which you’ve always wanted to try but never actually wanted to buy. They also offer snacks to go with the beer.

So make a trip to the Anheuser-Busch brewery. You really can’t be in St. Louis for four years without stopping by.

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