Today we drove to Fairfield, CA to do a few plant tours.

Our first stop was the Anheuser-Busch Brewery tour.

This will be the third of their five plants (where you can take tours) that we’ve visited. Only two left – Fort Collins, CO and Jacksonville, FL. The tour was pretty simple and we didn’t really see much. We spent more time sampling the two beers than we did on the tour. They did have a “Beermaster Tour” that was more in depth, but it was $25/person. A little more than we wanted to spend.

So we left there and headed over to our main destination – The Jelly Belly Factory Tour! So happy to be here! Shelly has always loved these jelly beans and now we can see how they are made.

When you first walk in, it’s such a fun colorful atmosphere. They have Jelly Belly artwork (mosaic pictures made from their jelly beans) hanging throughout the building.

Of course they had to have pictures of President Reagan, as he helped to make Jelly Belly’s famous by always having a jar of them on his desk.

We got right in line for the next tour and had to wait about 5-10 minutes. No pictures were allowed on the 40 minute tour.

Our tour guide, Lawrence, was great and walked us through the plant, explaining the manufacturing process, showing videos, and handing out samples along the way.

This was a well done tour, even with the funny hats they made us wear.

After the tour, we headed down to the “Sample Bar” where we could try the many beans they make. One that really stood out was their “Chile Mango” – sweet but with a very spicy punch. Shelly also made herself try one of their Bean Boozled Jelly Beans. They look like some of their regular Jelly Belly’s, but are quite different. With flavors like Skunk Spray, Pencil Shavings, Baby Wipes. Shelly even tried the Canned Dog Food beans. Tasted like beef. A weird flavor in a jelly bean.

Tasting complete, we went into the store where we picked us a 2lb bag of their “Belly Flops”. These are Jelly Belly’s for half the price, as they are the rejects – too big, too little, misshapen, stuck together, or uncoated. A good deal for a Jelly Belly lover such as Shelly.

Having had our fill of sweets, we next went to SePay Olive Oil. This is a store that specializes in Olive Oils and vinegars. They are very much into the health benefits of their oil and will give you a lengthy speech about it and allow you to try¬† their oils. We sampled about 10 different oils, as well as some vinegars and ended up with a bottle of their Organic Suisun Valley Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Because of the way they produce and store it, it’s supposed to be healthier than what you can buy in a grocery store. They recommend drinking a few tablespoons a day for the health benefits, but we think we’ll just cook with it.

Tours and sampling done, we headed back to the park to relax, as Shelly will be working the next few days.