A free 60-minute tour with free beer at the end. Is this heaven? No, it’s the Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour, and truly one of the best deals we’ve found in the Midwest.
Located at the sprawling St. Louis headquarters, the tour begins indoors where guides provide a brief overview of the company and the sights that lie ahead. After that, it’s outdoors to see the Clydesdales, a favorite sight. Groups are given time to explore the 1885 stables—like a Ritz-Carlton for horses, complete with a chandelier and gleaming carriages. The only thing missing is a room service button.
The rest of the tour is all about the beer-making process. Stops include the massive Beechwood Aging Cellars and mashing tanks, as well as the packaging lines where you’ll see (and hear) thousands of bottles being filled with Budweiser and whizzing by on conveyor belts. It’s a pretty amazing, unusual sight. Guides are happy to answer questions along the way, but some like to rattle off facts like it’s a horserace; pay close attention if you don’t want to miss anything. Also, be sure to dress appropriately, some of the rooms are kept at beer-making temperatures of around 50 degrees.
When the tour is complete, a trolley shuttles visitors back to the main building where a free bar awaits. We were expecting sample-size portions, but each received a 12-ounce glass. No complaints here.