Ian Murray finds the real stars of a trip to New Hampshire are the magnificent Clydesdale horses that are the trademark of the famous Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Nashua.

Sometimes there has to be an incentive to get him to go shopping. At some malls, it’s the lure of a decent sports bar; in the case of Merrimack Premium Outlets in New Hampshire, it just happens to be a whole brewery.

Let’s face it, you can’t get more incentivised than that!

The Anheuser-Busch brewery – home to Budweiser and a host of other top brands – sits directly across from the huge Merrimack Premium Outlets mall.

And what better way to keep the other half tuned into the whole shopping experience than to promise a drop-in to take the free hour-long tour at the end of a hard day’s ‘self-gifting’.

Not that it’s all beer, you understand. Oh no. There’s the history for one thing – the Anheuser-Busch brewery near the lovely New Hampshire town of Nashua was founded some 100 years ago. Then there’s the mechanics. The whole place is a grown-up boys’ wonderland of conveyor belts, brewing tanks, bottling racks and never-ending gleaming metal objects that the guides are only too eager to talk about. My favourite spot had to be the bottling hall itself, where thousands of the things rattle their way along what appears to be the most elaborate system of tracks and runners in the world.

There’s beer tasting, of course – all guests of age (and it’s still 21 in the US) can enjoy samples of what they do best at Anheuser-Busch. But the highlight of the tour is to be found outside the main plant itself. In the adjacent stables – not part of the tour but also free to visit – are housed in splendid luxury the real stars of the brewery: the Budweiser Clydesdales.

These magnificent shire horses are housed in the Clydesdale Hamlet.

The majestic giants have appeared in some of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials that are a famous trademark of Anheuser-Busch, and represent a special part of the brewer’s history. For sheer size and strength, the animals are awe-inspiring and a must for photo opportunities.

Daily Echo:

The city of Nashua is a two hour drive from Boston across the state border into New Hampshire. It is a pretty, small city – although the second largest in the state – and with its Main Street and traditional stores and restaurants, it makes an ideal place to stay and explore the region for a few days.

At its heart is Main Street and the Nashua River, with stores and restaurants radiating out from its core. And there’s no sales tax.

Nashua is rich with culture. Old mills have been converted to gallery space, forming what is now Bilancia Gallery and Framing on Pearl Street, the artistic soul of the city. Nashua has its own ballet theatre and symphony.

Town parks have facilities for nature walks, ice skating, and sledding. There are also excellent facilities for camping, boating, and fishing within the area.

A peaceful stroll along the paths of the 325-acre Mine Falls Park that follows the Merrimack River for 20 miles, makes for a pleasant summer’s afternoon.

For those who enjoy spectator sports, the Nashua Pride Professional Baseball Team plays at the Historic Holman Stadium in town.

The modern Crowne Plaza Hotel at Nashua is an ideal base, and includes a pool and fitness facilities, as well as restaurant and club lounge for business guests. It is just a 20-minute drive from the hotel to the Anheuser-Busch brewery and the adjacent Merrimack Premium Outlets mall.

Daily Echo:

With more than 100 outlet stores, Merrimack is a shoppers’ paradise. Premium Outlets specialises in the very best at the best of prices. The company’s promise is that you can expect to pay at least 25 - 65 per cent less – at least – for top name brands than you would expect to have to pay at High Street stores.

The draw is obvious. With the promise to offer high-end quality goods at a fraction of the recommended tail prices, the malls draw huge custom.

As the Americans say, it’s sight-seeing for serious shoppers.

Tommy Hilfiger and Polo Ralph Lauren, Adidas and Calvin Klein, Gap and Guess, J Crew and Juicy Couture – the list of must-have fashion, jewellery, audio visual goods, home and gifts designers goes on.

So what can you expect to find? And how real are the bargains?

The ultra high end goods on offer tend to be in season, but last year.

Some designers will actually make goods that are specifically for the outlets market, but these are not usually the top premium brands.

Bargains I spotted included suits reduced from $799 (£499) to $499 (£312) with a further 30 per cent reduction for a spot sale. Calvin Klein shirts were going for $34.99 (£29) and jeans at £39.99 (£25).

So if you are heading for New England and want to visit Merrimack Premium Outlets here are my tips for a true shopping experience (and I speak from first hand worn-out feet).

• Be prepared. Check out the website before heading out and work out your route of attack.

• Download your vouchers for even more savings from the website premiumoutlets.com – and check the latest just before you go.
• Check for VIP vouchers offers that can be bought at customer relations.
• Once you start shopping, don’t think you can go back, there’s just too much to see in one day. See it, buy it, move on.
• Make use of rented lockers to store purchases when your hands become too full.
• Pack an extra bag.
• Use the size conversion charts free at guest relations.
• Organise your meal breaks.
The mall has a marvellous selection of restaurants or you could book a table at Buckhead Grill for lunch.
• Remember the law: UK consumer tourists are required to declare any goods over the amount of £390 to HM Customs officials on their return home.

• British Airways operates three daily flights from London Heathrow to Boston Logan
21 times a week. visit ba.com/Boston
or call 0844 4930787.
• Plan the shopping: premiumoutlets.com/merrimack
• Pre-book your brewery tour: budweisertsours.com
• Stay at the Crowne Plaza Hotel where there is a shop and stay package that includes a $25 gift card for Merrimack: crowneplaza.com/nashua
• Nashua details: go-newhampshire.com/Nashua