First things first, to those around the country (cyberworld, wherever), you may not be aware of something going on in my neck of the woods and it's kind of in the forefront of our minds.
Beer giant, Anheuser-Busch was bought out in a deal that was all but finalized today. A Belgian brewer, InBev, has bought out our hometown, essentially. Without getting all political and "Buy American" on you, I thought it was notable to mention how, oddly enough, beer has shaped the life of this and many St. Louisans.
It's not only about beer, I mean, it is about beer- we (not me, personally) drink a lot of beer in these parts, but it's so much more than that.
Everyone knows someone that works for "A-B". The uncertainty of cutbacks and layoffs that may loom in the future is daunting and we all know people that stand to be affected. The air is thick with fear of the unknown.
In a city that has seen its share of struggle and transition, A-B has been the one constant. Many industries have come and gone, but A-B was our backbone. The national ad campaigns, the World Famous Budweiser Clydesdales, and some of the best Superbowl commercials ever always warm up a sense of pride in a true St. Louisan.
Busch Stadium, home to our St. Louis Baseball Cardinals, and obvious namesake. I don't believe I have ever met a person that lives here and has NOT been to a Cardinal game. A-B and the Cardinal are synonymous with each other. This is a baseball- loving, proud beer drinking town and half of its identity has been taken over.
Grant's Farm, a popular family attraction with thousands of animals running free on 281 acres, is also run by A-B. It is a beautiful tribute to a commitment to wildlife preservation. Some of my earliest childhood memories are from Grant's Farm. Feeding the goats from baby bottles as they chew my sundress to shreds, watching the bird shows, and being able to sit atop the carriage that is pulled by the Clydesdales, whose stables are also housed on the grounds are just a few that come to mind. I have watched my children enjoy the exact same memories as I did there. I am heartbroken at the possibility of this tradition ending. Inbev has mentioned their first action would likely be selling their amusement parks (including Sea World and Busch Gardens).
A-B has played a hand in almost every aspect of this community. There is a big question mark of where it will go from here. It seems certain, though, that, in St. Louis, life, as we know it, is about to change.