Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Anheuser Busch Brewery Tour

I went to STL for a weekend of rest and fun recently and on it we toured the AB Brewery to see it when it was in full motion 9-5 Monday - Friday. There were a few different things to see at this time and it's easy to see everything. The tour is fantastic, it involves about 7 blocks of walking without covering your tracks at all. You get to see horses, large lagering tanks, mash tuns, brew kettles, and a bottling plant the size of a football field. They sell a lot of beer. At the end of the tour you get two free glasses of beer and a bag of pretzels.

(please read more after the break.)

The Horses:
They have actual Clydesdale horses on site at a historic barn on the premises. These horses are impressive looking and it makes sense that you would need a giant horse to pull a cart full of barrels at 600lbs a piece filled. It might be worth it for some just to see the horses as they offer you the opportunity to turn off the tour at this point.

This is actually stop two on the tour; you see this enclosed area where lagering tanks two stories tall and holding 100,000+ cases of beer, each, are held. They have enough beer there for hundreds of people to drink for the rest of their lives, or 100,000 people for a few weeks.

The Brewery:
It's just like your home brewery only it's much bigger. The mash tons empty into boil kettles then flow with gravity to the fermentors. everything is sealed behind glass in this stage of the tour but it remains impressive just how much beer they make here compared to Schlafly's across town which looks like an operation you could pull off in comparison.

Not everything they said on the tour was factual. I could tell that my tour guide knew nothing about brewing as a practical matter and had done his best to memorize the tour materials. I would recommend the tour to anyone who home brews so that you can appreciate the size and scale of macro brew. Hearing about the care and control that skilled brew-masters put into brewing the most consistent beers ever produced is impressive. I just wonder what an IPA made by ABInBev would taste like considering the care they put into an american adjunct lager.

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