We arrived in St. Louis around 2:00 pm, and headed straight for the Brewery. I knew Gus's Pretzels was just around the corner and would be closing at 4:00, so we stopped there first to grab a few for a snack, and some to keep in the hotel room. Because it was late in the day, they weren't making fresh pretzels anymore, so I was disappointed the kids (and I) didn't get to see the twisting action. Pretzels weren't as warm or soft as I expected, but yummy just the same.
The Anheuser-Busch Brewery tour was great! Stopped in the beautiful stables and saw the old wagons like in the commercials. Even met the famous Clydesdale who was seen kicking the field goal in the Super Bowl commercial. The bottling process was going so it was fun to observe. Also had some delicious samples - 2 per person, with soda for the kids. Small bags of Snyder's pretzels were also offered. The girl behind the counter was obviously frustrated that certain beers needed to be re-tapped, and had to keep telling people what she was out of, and even swore at one point when one other tap went empty. Yikes! The Bud shop had some great things, and we spent some time looking at the old memorabilia in the lobby. I always wondered how a family named "Busch" ended up naming the beer "Budweiser", and I still didn't find that out.
After the tour, it was time to get checked into our hotel (Drury Inn near Forest Park), which was great. The bathroom smelled a bit musty (I think it was the shower curtain), and when I mentioned it to staff, she sent someone up right away to de-odorize it. The lobby served light snacks at 5:30 (hot dogs, baked potatoes, chicken strips), and free soda and cocktails (need a punch card for those), and free popcorn and soda until 10 pm. My kids thought that was the greatest!
After settling into our room, we headed out to the Loop, wanting to eat dinner at Fitz's American Grill and Bottling Works. We called first to see if they'd be bottling while we were there, and they were done at 6:00. We didn't get there until abourt 6:30, but that's OK. After all, we'd seen bottling already today. But call to find out their schedule and you might be lucky enough to watch. The restaurant was busy at that hour, but they give you a pager and you can wait outside or in their large waiting area. Good food, wonderful root beer floats, and friendly service. My son's kids meal was served in a paper box shaped like a classic car. Pretty fun! We ate upstairs in the bar area, which is non-smoking until night life begins at 10 pm.
After dinner, it was raining, but we ventured across the street to check out the store "Vintage Vinyl". It was a blast from the past, coming across favorite record albums from my childhood and teenage years. Try explaining 45s to your children. They don't understand that it's how we bought the songs we liked before iTunes came along.
If it hadn't been raining, The Loop looked like a great place to explore, with fun shops and restaurants, and the St. Louis Walk of Fame (Tina Turner, John Goodman, and more!)