Budweiser New Hampshire Brewery Tour Merrimack: A Non-Drinker’s View

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Taking a Budweiser Brewery tour in Merrimack, NH isn’t just for beer lovers. It’s also an experience for history buffs and anyone who likes to understand the ins and outs of how things are made. While you can no longer visit the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales at this location, you can tour the facilities and sample some of the many brews made and bottled in New Hampshire.

Picking up a Brewery Tour at Budweiser, New Hampshire

Clydesdale eating hay in a stall at Budweiser Brewery in Merrimack, NH
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With the number of craft breweries on the rise, it’s easy to forget about the rich and storied history of ale giants like Budweiser, and that’s just what the brewing icon hopes to combat by offering tours of 2 bottling facilities. Since tours are only offered in St. Louise and Merrimack, this is quite a treat for visitors to New England.

To take a Budweiser Brewery tour in New Hampshire, however, you’ll need to trot on over to the brand store. This where you’ll meet your guide once you have purchased tickets online.

Tours start every 20 to 30 minutes or so, and while there is a small waiting area opposite the retail outlet, most people hang around checking out the merchandise. Most also shell out some extra cash to walk home with branded gear.

As any craft brewer will tell you, the act of making beer is largely a waiting game, so don’t expect to see a lot of action on the tour, particularly if you’re visiting on a weekend. In fact, the first stop after having your photo snapped with a bronzed Clydesdale, is the mashing facility.

During the walk from the store toward the building, you’ll learn about the history of Budweiser and the story of German immigrant, Adolphus Busch, who later joined forces with client Eberhard Anheuser to form Anheuser Busch, the parent company to the Budweiser brand.

As you near the mashing facility, you’ll be asked to turn off your cell phone to avoid accidental sparks. This is where hops and barely are brought in on trains and milled into a fine grain, forming the central ingredients for Budweiser’s famous brands. Once you leave the milling facility, you’ll be allowed to turn your phone on and take pictures again.

Budweiser New Hampshire Brewery Tour Includes Tasting of Unfinished Brews

finishing tanks at Budweiser Brewery
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The next stop on the tour is the Budweiser craft brewery tanks. Here the guide discusses Budweiser’s foray into specialty beers. Since the brands under fermentation at Budweiser in Merrimack change on a regular basis, the guide will also tell you a little about the particular brews being made on that day.  

Leaving the craft tanks, you’ll travel next to the Budweiser or Bud Lite finishing tanks. This is where the fermentation for Budweiser’s primary beers takes place. This is also the first sampling spot on the tour where guests are allowed to sip the freshly fermented beer prior to final finishing.

Which beer you will be able to sample will depend upon which brew is in the tanks on the day you’re visiting the Budweiser New Hampshire Brewery in Merrimack. During our visit, the facility was finishing a batch of Bud Lite. A survey of the drinkers on the tour, most who sipped a few small cups, revealed that beer at this stage was a little crisper than the finished product, possibly more flavorful.

After enjoying the unfinished samples, the tour moves you along to the finishing room. This is where beechwood is added to the bottom of the tanks before the brew you just sampled is piped in.

The beechwood is designed to facilitate the lagering process wherein yeast is used to reduce some of the by-products of fermentation, mainly acetaldehyde and diacetyl. The former is reported to emit a taste like green apples or latex paint, if you can imagine the two tasting the same. The layering of beechwood gives the yeast a place to grow as it goes about its work of breaking down these distasteful byproducts.

This is also where the beer will pick up most of its carbonation as well as its alcohol content, since the majority of the fermentation occurs in these tanks. On some trips, you will be offered the option to take home a small piece of the beechwood used to age Budweiser.

Bottling Happens Day and Night at Budweiser Brewery in Merrimack, NH

Bottling line at Budweiser New Hampshire Brewery
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When operating at peak capacity, the Budweiser New Hampshire Brewery turns out 57,000 cases of bottled beer in a day. You’ll see how this is possible on the last stop of the tour. Glass windows overlook the bottling plant, where you can see packaging of the bottles in action.

The tour guide will pause here and answer any lingering questions for those who are interested in the process. Others dwindle away into the tasting room, where the majority of the Budweiser Brews are available on tap, including some specialty beers.

Each guest was allowed two samplings during our first visit served in 6-ounce plastic cups. However, during our second visit to the New Hampshire brewery, drinkers in the group were asked to select a single variety which was then served in a much larger souvenir pilsner glass. O’Doul’s and various varieties of soft drinks are available for non-drinkers.

Things to Know Before You Go to the Budweiser Brewery in Merrimack, NH

The Budweiser New Hampshire Brewery in Merrimack is located at 221 Daniel Webster Highway. While anyone aged 13 and over may participate in a tour, guests must have a reservation. While some open slots may be available for walk ups, it’s best to make reservations online. Just keep in mind that the New Hampshire brewery does have a strict cancelation policy. Guests must cancel up to 24 hours before the start of their tour to receive a refund, and all refunds are subject to a 10% cancellation fee.

Other things to know:

  • The Budweiser New Hampshire brewery does have a dress code. All guests must be wearing long pants, close toed shoes and a shirt with sleeves (long or short). Budweiser does not accept guests wearing sleeveless tops, tank tops, capri pants, shorts, or skirts.
  • The tour is around 1.5 hours in length, depending on how much time you linger over your free sample.
  • Tour schedules become available 1 to 2 months in advance.
  • Cost for a Beermaster Tour in Merrimack, NH is $40 per person.
  • Backpacks and large purses are prohibited on the tour.
  • Tours are offered rain or shine, so be prepared for wet weather if rain is in the forecast. A portion of the tour does take place outside.
  • Free parking is provided right onsite.

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Mother daughter travel bloggers exploring the U.S.

We're Kat and Ali, a pair of mother-daughter travel bloggers exploring the U.S. We're sharing our experiences, tips and insights to help you more easily get out and explore the beautiful landscapes and places of this nation.


Kathleen Hesketh

Kathleen is a travel agent with Mickey World Travel, a platinum level Authorized Disney vacation planner, where she helps people discover the magic of a Disney vacation and other travel destinations. She is also the chief author and editor for Seconds to Go - a travel blog where she shares experiences from traveling the U.S. with her daughters. Kathleen has been a professional writer for more than a decade, helping businesses craft compelling content to advance organizational goals.

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