Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Bier Fest Returns With More Local Beers Than Ever
Busch Gardens Williamsburgs Bier Fest will continue to offer a large selection of craft beers from around the world, but this years event will have even more local flavor. Bier Fest honors the theme parks Bavarian heritage with it’s own Oktoberfest celebration. Enjoy authentic German food and homemade pretzels paired with your favorite Oktoberfest biers.
More than 200 years of Oktoberfest traditions come to life at Busch Gardens’ Bier Fest. Guests can raise a glass to toast the end of summer with a variety of craft beers from around the globe, including offerings from Germany and Scotland. And new this year, frozen beer selections like Larrys Hard Lemonade, Angry Orchard Cider and Magners Cherry Cider will be available.
Bier Fest has added more than twice as many breweries from Virginia for this years event, which returns for its third year Friday, Sept. 1 and will run for eight days over three straight weekends Sept. 1-4, 9-10 and 16-17, 2017.
Among the Virginia breweries confirmed for Bier Fest:
- Alewerks Brewing Co.
- Apocalypse Ale Works
- Ballast Point Brewing Co.
- Bold Rock
- Bull Island Brewing Co.
- Buskey Cider
- Center of the Universe Brewing Co.
- Coelacanth Brewing
- Commonwealth Brewing Co.
- Devils Backbone Brewing Co.
- Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
- Larrys Hard Lemonade
- Midnight Brewery
- OConnor Brewing Co.
- Oozlefinch Craft Brewery
- Port City Brewing
- Smartmouth Brewing Co.
- St. George Brewing Co.
- Starr Hill Brewery
- Stone Brewing
- The Virginia Beer Co.
- Tradition Brewing Co.
- Trapezium Brewing Co.
- Wasserhund Brewing Co.
- Wild Wolf Brewing Co.
Beer enthusiasts interested in tasting a variety of styles can purchase a Bier Fest Sampler that provides 10 individual 3 oz. samples for $22.00. The sampler card can be used anytime during the entire event so guests can relax and enjoy their selections. Guests can purchase the sampler card online or at the Bier Fest Welcome Center in Oktoberfest Village.
*If you don’t want to be hassled with ID checks each time you make a purchase, stop by the Bier Fest Information Kiosk in Oktoberfest Village to get a over 21 wristband. (wristbands are optional).
So, what’s your style? To prepare you, here’s a little chart that describes what each type of beer is.
Also new this year will be three locations to purchase your favorite brews have been added in the England, Ireland and Oktoberfest villages.
And whats Bier Fest without authentic German food? This years menu includes all of your favorites, from roasted turkey legs and beer-battered bratwurst, and some new items that are sure to please, including a giant pretzel with bacon salt known as the Riesenbrezel.
Below is a preview of the specialty food items offered in Oktoberfest Village and Grogan’s Pub during the Bier Fest event.
- Hähnchen Schnitzel Brötchen – Chicken schnitzel on a bun with caper sauce & a lemon slice
- Landjäger – German-style smoked & dried sausage
- Jaeger Schnitzel – Hand-breaded pork schnitzel drizzled with a creamy mushroom & bacon sauce, served on a skewer
- Bratwurst Sandwich – Grilled sausage simmered in beer on a wheat roll with cranberry & rosemary mustard, Swiss cheese & sauerkraut
- Currywurst Spirale – Knockwurst pigtails topped with curry-spiced tomato ketchup
- Beer-Battered Bratwurst – Hand-dipped & served with whole-grain beer mustard, infused with rosemary & caraway
You can pick up the following items in Grogan’s Pub:
- Shepherd’s Pie – Ground beef with peas & carrots topped with mashed potatoes & cheddar
- Annie’s Beer Float – Vanilla Ice cream topped with Annie Grogan’s Stout
Busch Gardens Bürgermeister will host a tapping of the keg ceremony at 11:30 a.m. on each day of the event. Park leaders will tap a locally produced, cask-conditioned keg, also known as a firkin keg, to kick off the days event. Tapping of the keg will take place on the Bier Garden Stage in Oktoberfest Village. We attended the very first one and it was definitely a moment we will never forget!
Now, one might be wondering… exactly what is a Firkin Keg?
A firkin is a type of keg, wooden or metal, used to produce unfiltered beer without nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure. It is laid on its side and tapped horizontally, using only gravity to carbonate and push the beer out. With this, you get a naturally fermented and carbonated beer in a small batch.
The Brauhaus Craft Bier Room or Grogans Pub offers brewery talks throughout the eight-day event, so be sure to stop by and check that out!
While attending, don’t miss out on the exclusive merchandise. The past few years Busch Gardens offered Bier Fest t-shirts, suspenders, and more that were only available during the event.
And don’t forget about the thrills! 2017 kicked off at Busch Gardens Williamsburg with the addition of the first wooden coaster. InvadR, located in the New France area, features 2,100 feet of track, a 74 foot drop, and contains 9 airtime hills. Take a virtual ride in the POV video below!
Bier Fest at Busch Gardens Williamsburg will run for eight days over three weekends Sept. 1-4, 9-10 and 16-17, 2017. For tickets and more information, visit the official Busch Gardens Bier Fest Event Page by clicking here.
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