Toast the End of Summer at Busch Gardens Bier Fest!
There’s more to love about Bier Fest this year at Busch Gardens – more tasty beer, more tantalizing food and more days to enjoy it all. The event 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. If you are on the go, grab a turkey leg or some delicious pretzel nuggets!
The festival returns Friday, Sept. 2, for its second year and will run for eight days over three straight weekends – Sept. 2-5, 10-11 and 17-18. That’s twice as many days as last year’s inaugural event, which was a big hit!
More than 200 years of Oktoberfest traditions come to life at Bier Fest. Guests can raise a glass to toast the end of summer with a variety of craft beers from around the globe, and this year there are more options than ever. Over 100 beers will be represented over the course of the event!
Beer enthusiasts interested in tasting a variety of styles can purchase a Bier Fest Sampler that provides 10 individual 3 oz. samples for one price. The card can be used anytime during the entire four-day event so guests can relax and enjoy their selections. The sampler can be purchased online or at the Bier Fest Welcome Center in Oktoberfest Village and will include the following:
- Bier Sampler: 10 Tastings
- Bier Fest Sampler + Souvenir Mug: 10 Tastings, 1 Souvenir Mug & 1 Fill
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).
Busch Gardens executive chef Justin Watson stated:
“We add 32 taps to the Oktoberfest Village for Bier Fest. Plus we have 30 taps at the Brauhaus Craft Bier Room and all the taps that are available in Das Festhaus. It’s lots of beer and lots of great food. It’s a great festival”.
Here’s a look at some of specialty food items that will be offered in Oktoberfest Village during Bier Fest.
- 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
- Bratwurst & Sauerkraut Fried Dumplings – Sauerkraut & bratwurst sausage, breaded & deep-fried, served with whole-grain beer mustard
- Beer-Battered Bratwurst – Hand-dipped & served with whole-grain beer mustard, infused with rosemary & caraway
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 last year 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.
Each weekend, two breweries will be on-site, including AleWerks, O’Connor, Virginia Beer Co., Wasserhund, Tradition and Oozlefinch. Stop by Beer Row, near Curse of DarKastle, to find your favorite local brewery.
And who can drink beer without music!?? Live music will be provided throughout the festival by local acts Harley Boone, the Happy Dutchmen and the Kevin MaC Band.
While attending, don’t miss out on the exclusive merchandise. Last year Busch Gardens offered Bier Fest t-shirts, suspenders, and more that were only available during the event.
If it’s your first time visiting the park, be sure to take a camera. Busch Gardens was recently voted the world’s most beautiful theme park for the 26th year in a row. The world’s most beautiful theme park is not an easy title to hold!
Busch Gardens has already made a major announcement for 2017 with the the addition of a new wooden roller coaster. Not only will this be the first wooden coaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, InvadR is the world’s first crowd sourced ride. Construction has already started in the New France area for the park’s first wooden coaster. It will be 2,100 feet long, have a 74 foot drop, and contain 9 airtime hills. check it out in the POV video below!
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