Today the Belgium brewer InBev, completed its acquisition of Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Budweiser beer. Anheuser-Busch joins the long line of Saint Louis based companies that have been taken over. Notable Saint Louis companies that have seen their headquarters merged out of town are AG Edwards, Ralston Purina, Trans World Airlines, Monsanto, Southwestern Bell, and McDonnell Douglas. Anheuser-Busch was one of the few Fortune 100 headquarters still left in town. Pictured above is Anne, pedaling up Broadway, headed for the Saint Louis Anheuser-Busch brewery. The picture is from this summer.
The old saw about Saint Louis went like this, First in shoes, First in booze and last in the American League. The Saint Louis Browns have long since left town and Saint Louis is quite happy with its Cardinals. Thank you very much! All the shoe factories have left town, but Brown Shoe is still headquartered here. Remember Buster Brown shoes? Many of the old shoe factory buildings are still scattered around the downtown. Many have already been converted to loft apartments and condos and more are likely to. Pretty much all that was left of Saint Louis’ booze industry was the Anheuser-Busch brewery.
Anheuser-Busch was in part responsible for the demise of the rest of Saint Louis’ booze industry. One competitor the Lemp family, maker of Falstaff beer, was driven to distraction by competition with Anheuser-Busch. The City of Saint Louis’ high standard for brewing prevented micro brewers, like Schlafly Beer from being able to open up bottling plants within the city’s limits. So Anheuser-Busch was left the last man standing here in Saint Louis. Today Saint Louis’ alpha predator became the prey.