The Budweiser Clydesdales are the beverage industry's most recognizable mascots, and you can meet these famous horses by visiting the Clydesdale Hamlet at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Merrimack, New Hampshire.
In 1933, August A. Busch, Jr. gave a hitch of Clydesdales to his father in celebration of the resumption of brewing in St. Louis following the repeal of Prohibition. Clydesdales--a powerful breed of draft horses--originated in the Clyde valley of Scotland, and they are known for the distinctive, feathery hair on their fetlocks--the lower parts of their legs above and behind the hooves.
If you've never heard of the Budweiser Clydesdales, then you've probably been living in a cave for several decades. These high-stepping horses make hundreds of public appearances each year in addition to appearing in television commercials and other Budweiser beer advertising.
The hitch of Clydesdales that calls New Hampshire home is one of several owned by Budweiser, which offers tours of five of its 12 U.S. breweries, including the one in Merrimack. Whether or not you decide to take a free brewery tour, you are welcome to visit the Clydesdales at their picturesque stables on the property. There are always eight to 10 Clydesdales at the stables, which are open to the public free of charge year round. Stable hours are 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily.
The best time to visit is on Clydesdale Camera Day, when you'll have an opportunity to see a Clydesdale up close and take plenty of pictures. Clydesdale Camera Days are held the first Saturday of each month year round, from 1 until 3 p.m. For a glimpse of what you'll experience, peruse my gallery of photos from our visit to the Merrimack brewery on Clydesdale Camera Day in July, 2006.
Directions to Budweiser's Merrimack, New Hampshire, Brewery:
The Budweiser brewery is located at 221 Daniel Webster Highway in Merrimack, New Hampshire, which is between Nashua and Manchester. Follow the Everett Turnpike/Route 3 to exit 10, then travel east on Industrial Drive to a left on Daniel Webster Highway.
Free Brewery Tours:
Free Budweiser brewery tours are offered year round in Merrimack. They're open to all visitors, but you must be 21 or over to sample beer at the conclusion of the tour. Snacks and soft drinks are also served. Tours are offered Thursday through Monday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. January through May; daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. in June, July and August; and daily from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. September through December. The brewery is closed on select holidays.
Beer lovers will want to reserve a spot on the Anheuser-Busch Beermaster Tour for a more in-depth, behind-the-scenes experience. You'll even sample beer fresh from the finishing tank! Tickets are $25 for ages 21 and up, $10 for ages 13 to 20. Here's how to reserve a spot on one of these special tours.
Where To Stay:
Compare rates at hotels near the Budweiser brewery.
For More Information About Visiting Budweiser and the Clydesdales: