While on a trip to San Francisco, to see the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, we decided to venture a little bit out of the city and went to visit the Budweiser Brewery and the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield. It’s about an hour outside of San Francisco and we decided to do both tours in one day. We have been to a lot of brewery and winery tours, but the Jelly Belly tour was very unique and something we were very glad we took the time to visit.
One of the first things we noticed when we pulled into the parking lot of the factory was the Jelly Belly Car. It is so cute, I just had to take a picture What do you think? Anyway, we finally made our way inside to the Visitor Center and I stood around in awe. The place was so cool and I felt like a kid again. SO much color and so many things going on. It also smelled wonderful. Couldn't tell exactly what it was, but it smelled like something strawberry.
After we walked around for a few, we got in line and waited to take our FREE tour. It wasn't too bad of a line since it was the middle of the week, but we heard it can get really busy on the weekend and you could wait up to 45 minutes sometimes to even start the tour. They suggest getting there early in the day to avoid the crowds. Whenever ever you visit, employees walk around and pass out little samples to help keep you entertained. Always a plus
We eventually started our tour and listened to our tour guide tell us that we were going to learn about the history of Jelly Belly and how they make them. We then walked through the factory overhead on walkways with TV monitors that the guides turn on for you when you get to each station. It is really interesting learning how they are made and looking at how many different types there were down there.
Another hint to the wise, (if you have a choice) it is best to go during the week, as you can actually see the factory with the machines working. If you go during the weekend, you only get to watch the process on video which does leave a lot to be desired. Even if you do go on the weekend, they still teach you the 4 steps to making jelly beans: making and molding the inside candy, plumping them, adding the outer candy shell and polishing them. Whenever you go, it would be interesting, just more fun during the week. Whenever you go on the tour, you get a free little baggie of jelly beans after the tour, pretty sweet!
What was really sweet was The Jelly Belly gift shop. Usually I get annoyed when tours end in the gift shop, but with this tour, it was the best way to end the tour. In their gift shop you can sample any flavor of bean at the Jelly Belly Sample Bar, and stock up on all of your delicious favorites. Then again you can try some of their more weird tasting flavors such as Rotten Eggs, Baby Diaper, Fresh Cut Grass and Dirt. Black Pepper, Booger, Earthworm, Ear Wax, Soap. Stinky Socks, Canned Dog Food, and Baby Wipes, None of these really appealed to me, so I stuck with the more traditional flavors such as Berry Blue, Bubble Gum, Cotton Candy, Cinnamon, Crushed Pineapple. Green Apple, Strawberry, Lemon Line, etc. There are too many to list, but needless to say, they are all mostly wonderful, minus the gross ones, lol.
We had an amazing time at the Jelly Belly Factory and I look forward to visiting again in the near future. Here is some information about the tour: The Jelly Belly Visitor Center is open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM PT, and guided factory tours operate daily from 9 AM to 4 PM PT except for New Year's Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Tours are FREE and depart approximately every 10-20 minutes throughout the day and last approximately 40 minutes. Again, they suggest getting there early to try to avoid some of the crowds. Hope you get to visit while you are in the area. I know I look forward to visiting the next time we have a chance. If you have taken the tour, please share your experience. Thanks so much. Here is a link to their site if you want even more information.
One last thing: Again tours are FREE and depart approximately every 10-20 minutes throughout the day and last approximately 40 minutes. Again, they suggest getting there early to try to avoid some of the crowds. Hope you get to visit while you are in the area. I know I look forward to visiting the next time we have a chance. If you have taken the tour, please share your experience. Thanks so much. Here is a link to their website if you want even more information. If you like touring candy factories, make sure to check out our visits to Hammonds Candies in Denver as well as Angell and Phelps Chocolate Factory in Daytona, Florida.