Saint Arnold Brewery & Mrs Baird's Bakery - January 23, 2008

On January 23 exactly 23 members and guests had a full day of trip activities.  First stop was St. Arnold's (micro) Brewing Company where brewing production manager Bev Blackwood gave us a first class tour and education on brewing.  His discussion ranged from malts, hops, barley seeds, flavor and color, mixing vats, CO2 venting, ales and lagers, yeast, fermentation and filtration, alcoholic content, bottling and kegs.  Lastly, we received souvenir glasses and "tasted" once or twice the various brews, each with great flavor, not to exclude a fabulous root beer for non-drinkers.

For lunch we traveled to Larry's Bar-B-Q & Smokehouse, a buffet line where we feasted on smoky ribs, beef slices, chopped beef, spicy sausage, tender chicken, salad and desserts. Talk about full! 

Next, a 'surprise' jaunt to the renowned Beer Can House, a creation of the late John Milkovisch.  Ripley's Believe It or Not estimated that over 50,000 beer cans adorn this monument to recycling.  The Orange Show Center is restoring the site. 

With a little time to kill, we visited the home base of Houston sculptor David Adickes, father of the Texas' renowned Sam Houston statue, a full 67 feet of concrete, just outside of Huntsville.  In 2004 he created the "President's Park" located in Lead, South Dakota, very near Mount Rushmore.  On a visit you would see 20 foot busts of all 43 American presidents.  But WE SAW right there in north Houston 20 busts of Presidents and others from Texas history--a Beatles statue off to the rear.  An unplanned treat for the eyes! 

Our last stop was Mrs Baird's Bakery (part of Grupo Bimbo, a huge baking conglomerate).  Inside, tour guide Angela Ainsworth showed us two (promotional) videos and walked us station-to-station through the (very loud) manufacturing area. Required was over the ears, mesh hair nets that made us look rather silly.  We saw up close all aspects of bread production from raw mixing, twisting, baking, cooling racks, slicing, packaging and stacking.  We each had a slice (out of a loaf) pulled from the production line--hot and yummy.  Angela gave each of us an Apple Cinnamon Roll, a treat for later.  From beer to BBQ to baking....we fed our stomachs and our minds.  Great Day! as they say.