Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Anheuser Busch Brewery Tour

At a loss for things to do on a scorching Saturday (the beach is no place for near-albinos like us) we jumped in the car and headed to the Northside for a tour of the Jacksonville Anheuser Bush factory.

The tour itself is mostly lackluster, the details I would love to have heard about are glossed over but there are a few interesting tidbits thrown in. For instance, I was not aware that Budweiser was made with rice in addition to the barley malt and that the cheaper beers often contain corn meal. The most interesting part of the tour for me was seeing the immense scale of the equipment used, a far cry from the home brew kits I've looked at. The bottling and packaging area is fascinating with its snaking conveyor belts carrying bottles from station to station for pasteurizing, cleaning, labeling, and boxing. Unfortunately, I couldn't take any pictures of the process because people work in there and photography is therefore forbidden. Some of the historical tidbits are interesting and sure to please those interested in the stories of America's past.


After the tour you are brought to the hospitality room where you are given two samples (about half a pint each, which is quite a mighty sample if you ask me) from the many alcoholic beverages they either have on tap or in bottles. Energy drinks are also available and don't count towards the two samples.

wild blue

With our four samples between us we tried Wild Blue, a blueberry infused beer, Landshark, a new offering that has been steadily increasing in popularity, Shocktop, a Belgian-influenced wheat beer, and Red Bridge, a brew made from Sorghum instead of barley or wheat for those with allergies to those grains. Wild Blue wasn't too bad but not something I'd drink again. It reminded me of an inferior Belgian fruit lambic. The popularity of Landshark is beyond me. I thought it was going to be similar to Corona in flavor but instead inspired thoughts of kidney filtered Budweiser; pure garbage. We like wheat ales and have had Shock Top before so there were no surprises there. Pleasant flavor, slightly grainy unfiltered texture; definitely the best beer I've had from Anheuser Busch. The Redbridge was also nice, particularly considering the source. The sorghum lends an interesting flavor to this red lager which is reminiscent of a sweeter Irish Red. Overall, the hospitality room is a nice finale to the intriguing and occasionally fascinating tour... just be careful not to stumble out of there if you're a featherweight like us.


Tours run every half hour between 10am and 4pm, Monday through Saturday. Check it out if you enjoy beer, manufacturing, history, or are just bored on your day off.

redbridge vs. shock top

Anheuser Busch Jacksonville Brewery Tour
111 Busch Dr.
Jacksonville, FL 32218

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