If you’ve been reading my blogs for any amount of time, you know that my drink of choice is Budweiser. I’ve been a Bud Man my whole life...well, actually, there was a twelve year period in my life that I didn’t drink Budweiser...but then I turned thirteen and said, “Screw that, give me a Budweiser or give me death!”
So imagine my excitement when Brewers Distributing Company, the biggest Budweiser distribution company in the area offered to give me a tour of their operation? Maybe you can imagine that excitement when I tell you that you can join me on this tour! So let’s all give a big Ed McMahon-like cheer and head on over to Brewers Distribution Company for a Brewer Tour of the 3-D House of Budweiser! Hiyo!
Here we are at Brewers Distributing Company, the official Budweiser home in Peoria. This place is huge and I can't capture it all in one picture, but this is the main portion of the distribution center.
I've been directed to go through the front doors and I'll meet...
Paul Jacob, the President and second generation owner of Brewers Distribution Company who poses for the MBIP camera and flashes the official card of the blog. We're also joined on the tour by Jim Waller, but Jim's either a little camera shy or wanted by the law and didn't want his picture taken. Only his hairdresser knows for sure and she's not talking.
Here's Paul in his spacious office. Very nice and it's bigger than my apartment!
Check out the vintage Budweiser can and bottle. Paul said these are circa 1930. Very cool!
And now the official tour begins down this hallway.
This is Paul's father's office. Paul's father, Walter F. Jacob became the sole owner in 1978 after taking it over from the Koch family who started the business in 1933, all those beers...I mean, years ago.
Paul told me his Dad got the nickname, "Budd" as a young child. It seems he was destined from an early age to be a Bud Man.
Here we are in the heart of the operation where all the beer is stored.
If I won the lottery, this is what my apartment would look like. I'd be passed out behind the second palette to the left.
The stock here is rotated so every Budweiser in Peoria is fresh as the day it was brewed.
Check out this room...
You may think that this is where they store the kegs of Budweiser, but in reality it's an art exhibit showing the number of kegs my high school class from Bergan in 1976 went through. All that's missing is a stack of red plastic cups and a Marshall Tucker eight track playing from a car in an empty field out in the sticks. Memories...
Budweiser isn't the only beer that's distributed from here. They also put Dad's Root Beer on the shelves of stores in and around Peoria. Brewers has a product list of over 250 products that they stock and distribute to bars and stores in the Central Illinois area, check out the list here.
And speaking of products, here's Paul standing in front of a freezer that houses Brewers newest item...
This is where the fleet of Bud trucks park. It's empty right now, which means stores and bars will all be filled up with Budweiser products by the time I'm off work, which leaves me relieved!
The company's mission statement hangs in banners in this room up near the ceiling. Nice!
Here's a truck being stocked up, I told them to deliver this shipment to my apartment, but so far it hasn't shown up.
Brewers has their own in-house printing department which prints up their banners and signs. This ink jet printer brings back memories of my old night shift job in New York.
This is Nancy, who runs the printing department here at Brewers.
Speaking of print, here's a couple of Bud girls on a poster. I was hoping to see some of them in person here today, but we'll have to make do with this for now, maybe next time!
Here's the wall of Brewers employees. Paul and Jim told me that workers come here daily and if there picture is gone...well, that day might be just a little troublesome. Luckily, that doesn't happen often!
Okay, here's the moment of the tour I've been waiting for, a stop at the Brewer's hospitality room, Paul welcomes us in.
It's a spacious party room with lots of tables and chairs in it.
Check out the wooden bar in here, very elegant!
Wow, look at the assortment of bottled beers on the shelves in here. Pretty impressive!
Only two taps are needed in here, Budweiser and Bud Light. Let's give these a high rating, Spike!
I love the vintage Peoria photos that line the wall in the room. This is the Koch brothers with the original staff in 1940.
Here's a shot of the original Brewers Distribution Company on Washington Street in downtown Peoria.
This is a photo of the first load of beer to Brewers after Prohibition had ended. Those look like some thirsty fellows!
Speaking of thirsty fellows, Paul serves up a beer from a chill chamber, which is a special Budweiser cooler that keeps the beers cooled at 22 degrees without freezing them. Now that literally defines, "cool!"
Cheers from Paul and I, deep in the heart of the Hospitality Room at Brewers Distribution Company, a.k.a. The 3-D House of Budweiser!
And check out the parting gifts I got on my way out: Four Aggatucci pizzas, a Budweiser driver shirt, a bottle of Tomahawk Maple cream and a case of Budweiser glasses! This is like Christmas in the summer time! Mucho thanks to Paul Jacob for a grand tour of the wonderful land of Budweiser inside of Brewers Distributing Company and to Jim Waller for setting it all up. We'll see you all tomorrow.