Being a St. Louis native, I admit to being biased in my opinion of the best local breweries in the St. Louis area. The best brewery, hands down, is Anheuser Busch. Anheuser Busch has been a pillar in the St. Louis community since 1852 and has evolved in many ways over the years. In addition to producing quality beer products, AB is also a producer of Monster energy drinks, has owned and operated theme parks and attractions such as Sea World, Busch Gardens, Sesame Place, Discovery Cove and St. Louis’ own Grant’s Farm; and Anheuser Busch previously owned and operated “Eagle Snacks” which was purchased by Procter and Gamble in 1996.
One would think that the years of prohibition would have caused this major mogul to close its doors; however that is not what happened by far. During the years of prohibition Anheuser-Busch diversified its market share by branching out in the production of non-alcoholic products such as ice cream, root beer and chocolate and grape beverages. At the end of prohibition, Anheuser Busch introduced its now signature Clydesdale horses.
In 2008 Anheuser-Busch merged with InBev to become the largest global brewer with 25% global market share. Anheuser Busch is responsible for 49.2% of United States beer sales, according to Wikipedia. Some of the more notable beer brands produced by Anheuser-Busch are Budweiser, Busch, Beck’s, Michelob and O’Doul’s. Additionally, A-B owns distribution rights to Bacardi and the company has a 50% share in the Mexican beer Corona.
Anheuser Busch offers free tours to the community and at the end of each tour, patrons that are of legal drinking age are allowed up to two free A-B beverages. The same holds true of Grant’s Farm. Admission is free (although there is a $12 charge to park) and each guest age 21 and up can receive 2 free full sized Anheuser Busch beverages.
Another popular brewery in St. Louis, although not as widely known about as Anheuser Busch is Schlafly. This brewery also holds tours on weekends at their Southwest Avenue location and you are allowed free samples at the end of the tour if you are of drinking age. For younger guests who are not old enough to drink, they offer free soft drinks. With a full restaurant with unusual menu items such as goat cheese dip, pretzel encrusted chicken and billy goat chips, you’re sure to receive a one-of-a-kind experience.
The Schlafly Tap Room, located on Locust Street also has a restaurant with unique fare including dishes such as Schnitzel, Pickled Herring and Lamb Burgers. For those with a less adventurous palate, they also offer more traditional items such as Prime Rib, Monte Cristo sandwiches and Sirloin burgers.
So, the next time you’re passing through St. Louis, be sure and stop by these two breweries for an interesting experience and a slice of St. Louis history.