Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Budweiser - in Jacksonville, Florida

This is the only horse here, you will need to go to the St Louis brewery to see them
or the breeding farm in Booneville, MO where they also have tours

Being from Missouri we had to make a stop at the Budweiser brewery in Jacksonville and compare it to the St Louis operation.  (OK, it was a good excuse for free beer too!)   The brewery is easy to find, great parking, open Mon.-Sat. 10-4 and tours are free.  We arrived about 10am and the greeter offered us tastes of their Ultra 55 while we waited for our guide.  The tour started with information about the types of beers that are brewed at this facility.
The different products Budweiser makes
Cooking vats
Fermenting tanks - this is where the beechwood aging comes in

You don't actually go into the factory on this tour (unlike St Louis), there are areas with viewing windows from above the work areas.  The process is explained very well and the differences in how lagers vs ales etc are made.  The guide answered many questions from our group and knew the history of the company also.  We watched a short video and then went on to see the bottling room - I LOVE factory tours, even watch them on TV!
Only 7 people run this operation at a time, everything is automated

We were then escorted to the hospitality tasting room and all the different products available to taste were explained.  Each adult is allowed 2 beers (or if they are not busy they will give you smaller 1/2 pours so you can taste 4).  There is self service soda and also packs of pretzels.  We chose different beers and shared them in order to taste several.  Shock Top has a summer cranberry/raspberry and also a blueberry.  The blueberry has a higher alcohol content 9%.  We also tried Beach Bum (summer ale) and Landshark.
The guide gave us great explanations of the different products

There is a gift shop with branded merchandise and you can also buy beer to take with you.  We chose to get a mix & match 6 pack to try a few more different varieties ($8.99).   If you are in the Jacksonville area this is a great way to get out of the heat and have a couple of beers for free!
The retail store

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