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.
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.
So 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.
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!