Drinkin’ Beers, Beers, Beers – Anheuser-Busch Brewery #142

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                                                                        Cake #142 at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery

So it’s a beautiful, sunny Saturday in mid-June in 2014 and where else could you expect this Cake Monster and Mercutio Krispytreats to be other than out cake hunting? The mission for the day was to see two cakes – the first of which was at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery.

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                                                                                  Cake #142 at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery

Now, full disclosure, Mercutio and I figured that what was a trip to the Brewery to see the cake if we didn’t actually take the FREE tour (did I mention it was free?!). But since everyone else in town seemed to have the same idea – for the tour and not the cake hunt, sadly – we had to sign up for a tour time that was much later than our arrival. So with some extra time on our hands, we took the opportunity to admire the cake at the Brewery as well as travel to our next cake location at STL Style before coming back for the tour. So technically the tour followed the cake sighting by one cake in between, but who’s really keeping track at this point besides me, right? So anyway…

 

…some history! In the mid-1800s, St. Louis saw an increase in the number of German immigrants coming to live in our fair city. With this increase in people, and their special know-how and tastes, there was also an increase in the production of beer, in particular, lager – which is a lighter and crisper brew, but one that requires a lot more attention and care than other types.

IMG_2718So now let’s talk about two great forces coming together. On one side there is Eberhard Anheuser who left Germany for St. Louis in 1843 where he got into the soap manufacturing business. Eventually, although he wasn’t a trained brew-master, he became involved with the Bavarian Brewery, eventually buying all other investors out and renaming it E. Anheuser and Co. Cue the entrance of Adolphus Busch who was part of a brewing supply company through which he met Eberhard and eventually his daughter Lilly Anheuser who he fell in love with and married in 1861. At this point, he joined the family business. And thanks to Adolphus, there was a push for wider exposure of their beer and the name Budweiser was introduced as a brand that would be welcomed by Germans and easy for Americans to pronounce. IMG_2714

Adolphus also became the first brewer to use pasteurization which allowed beer to travel greater distances, again, expanding the reach of the brewery.  In 1876 Budweiser became the first national beer brand, due in large part of Adolphus’ skill in marketing and advertising. In 1879 the brewery was renamed the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association and control of the brewery moved to Adolphus after Eberhard passed away and then to his son August Busch Sr. when Adolphus passed as well.

Prohibition was a trying time all around, but under the leadership of August Sr., the brewery thrived by diversifying its efforts and moving into the sale of ice cream and non-alcholic drinks.

 

Through the years, the brewery has faced many challenges but has met them all with great courage and innovation, managing to stay relevant and prosperous. And today as Anheuser-Busch InBev, it is the largest brewer in the world!

 

During the tour, Mercutio and I were regaled with all of this information and more including the process of beer production and bottling. We were even treated to several samples and one delicious larger beverage once the tour was over. Personally, this Cake Monster is not a beer drinker, but when at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery, it’s only polite to do as the Anheuser/Busch crew would do and drink up and enjoy!

 

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The Great Cake Caper – Lambert St. Louis International Airport #86

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Cake #86 at Lambert Airport

Sometimes when you’re cake hunting, you’ve just got to get creative. And that’s exactly what we had to do when we saw Cake #86 at Lambert Airport. Before I get into the fun stuff, let’s take a little walk down history lane. Lambert St. Louis International Airport is named for Albert Bond Lambert who learned to fly with the Wright Brothers. After land was purchased and put aside to serve as an airfield in 1920, Lambert worked tirelessly to bring worldwide attention to aviation. His effort was bolstered by a young Charles Lindbergh who arrived in St. Louis in 1923 to attend that year’s International Air Races and decided to stay in the city first as an aviation instructor and then later as the pilot who flew the mail between St. Louis and Chicago.

As public interest grew, so did the airport and the surrounding areas which soon included a paved runway, taxiways and hangars. Through the years Lambert Airport has grown and changed with the needs of the area including serving as a training location for Navy aviation cadets during World War II as well as becoming one of the first US airports to offer jet airline service in 1959 when Trans World Airlines began using the Boeing 707. Lambert has always been at the forefront of innovations in aviation and has shown incredible resiliency especially in the face of disaster such as the fact that even after the tornado that caused considerable damage to the airport in 2011, the airport reopened the following day and managed to complete the repairs and upgrades to the damaged parts of the airport in about a year.

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Cake #86 at Lambert Airport

So for a place that has so much epic history, my trip to see the cake had to be equally as epic. The idea for this adventure came early in the year when I realized that there was going to be a cake inside Lambert Airport, and with no future traveling plans in the works, I was worried about when I would be able to see this one, since I didn’t want to pay to park my car at the airport just to go inside and admire the cake for a minute. But then, a light bulb went off! Later that year I was going to be working at a conference at the Renaissance Hotel literally minutes from the airport, and being the nice hotel that they are, the Renaissance offers a free shuttle to and from the airport!

As my plan started taking shape, I enlisted the help of my coworker and fellow cake enthusiast Amelo. I knew that one day after we had finished setting up for the start of the conference we would have some free time between the end of the work day and dinner. We wouldn’t have much time, just enough to hop on the shuttle, snap a couple pictures with the cake and make it back before those we were taking to dinner even noticed we had left. And even though the edges of my plan were still fuzzy, she agreed!

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Amelo and Cake Monster at Cake #86 at Lambert Airport 

And as the day I had been waiting for finally arrived, the first part of the plan went perfectly. We waited for the end of the work day, caught the shuttle to the airport and hopped off in search of the cake. Once inside the airport, I didn’t have a great idea where the cake would be located – the official cake placement list not offering any help in this matter. But finally, after asking someone who looked like they knew what was going on, we found the cake, and I showed Amelo how to properly admire a cake and take the necessary cake-selfie.

The whole cake finding and photographing process only took a few minutes, and so, feeling confident about our adventure and patting ourselves on the back for pulling off such an epic plan, we walked to the shuttle stop just in time to see the shuttle pulling away from the stop and heading back to the hotel. 😦

Crestfallen, we did the only thing we could do, sit down on the metal seats and wait for the shuttle to return. Luckily just as our anxiety was increasing about making it back to the hotel in time for dinner, the shuttle, which runs continuously, arrived at the stop again about 15 minutes later, and we boarded it bound for the hotel with memories of the great cake caper dancing in our heads.

Looking back now, I can’t believe we were able to pull off such a great adventure in the midst of everything else that was going on at the time, but when the call of the cake comes, you’ve just got to use all of your available resources to make the hunt happen.

wp-1449797087000.jpgPlus Amelo even put her cake hunting skills to the test by snapping this fantastic picture with a massively majestic cake she found while on vacation. Now that’s dedication to the cake life! 🙂