T and I did the Anheuser-Busch Brewery tour in St. Louis this weekend! It was unbelievable! they have a total brewing capacity of 20 million gallons of beer!
The tasting crew numbered 5. Ages were 43, 44, 45, 46, and 81. This included two females (T and my sister Sue) that I consider pretty well-rounded when it comes to what beers they will drink. The guys were different. My Dad (the 81 year old) is really a light beer drinker. Keith (my brother-in-law) seems to favor sweeter beers and ales and a few stouts. For me, I am a pretty well-rounded (yeah, that way too!) beer drinker with the exception of generally not drinking light beer really at all. I’d rather have half of a regular beer than a whole light beer! I favor more bitter, dark, stout, hopp beers and ales. So, I think the group represented the spectrum of beer drinkers pretty well.
And now, without further ado:
Bud Light Golden Wheat
Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.1%
I will tell you that I am not a fan of light beer at all and usually will refuse to drink it. This one impressed me. I would give it a 6 (a 5 being average) on a 10 scale. It was pretty well-received by the rest of the crew also.
Type: Lager- German-style Marzen/Oktoberfest (fall/winter seasonal)
There is a great story behind this! We were at a grocery store in St. Louis and looking for a good beer to take back to the hotel. Believe it or not an Anheuser-Busch marketing rep happened to be shopping for beer at the same time and he actually bought us a six of this!!
I really liked this one! It had a bit of a citrus/cider tang to it, but just a hint. Not as good as Schlafly’s No. 15 but close.
The tag line for this brew should be: “Don’t worry, be hoppy!” I liked this very much! T kinda liked it but thought it was too hoppy. It is definitely an acquired taste. We had it on draught. In the past, when I had it in the bottle at a local tavern, I thought it was kind of “skunky” (think Heineken or Beck’s) which I definitely don’t like. One of the A-B employees (on the tour) explained to me that is what happens to a hoppy beer when it sits on the shelf for a while. I think it would go well with brats, pretzels, or nachos (something salty and/or savory) but strictly a draught beer.
Shock Top Belgian White
Type: Unfiltered Belgian-style wheat ale
This tasted light to me for an ale and somewhat citrusy. I liked it for a white ale. It was a big hit with the crew, although Dad thought it just a little heavy for his taste. It would go well with fresh salads, chicken dishes, and Asian cuisine.
Rating: A solid 8
Stone Mill Pale Ale
Type: Organic Pale Ale
This one was definitely different. I really liked it! The group was very favorable to it also.
Would go well with herbed chicken, hors d’oeuvres, mediterranean food and any pasta with a garlic or shallot sauce. It also pairs well with saltier food such as thick-cut potato chips.
Type: Belgian white ale
EVERYBODY really liked this ale! A little citrussy. White and opaque to the eye. Would go well with light dishes.
Type: Fruit-infused lager
The dark-horse that I thought (before tasting) would be a love it or hate it brew was a pretty big hit with all! It was totally not what I expected. It has a purplish color. It really doesn’t taste like a beer at all. It basically tastes like homemade blueberry wine. At 8% ABV this is a powerful brew! Would go well with full-flavored dishes.
If you have any thoughts on these or any other beer please feel free to express them in the comments section. Thanks, Dean