Busch Gardens Williamsburg is kicking off their first ever Bier Fest. The all new festival will celebrate the traditions of old Germany, and bring a fun celebration that fits in with the history of the park. The event will have a very short run, but will offer big selections of beer, food and music.
Bier Fest honors the theme park’s Bavarian heritage this September with its own Oktoberfest celebration. This festival-style event spans two weekends and features live music, traditional German food and 75 draft and bottled beers that offer beer aficionados a robust palate of flavors to sample.
Bier Fest takes place two weekends, Sept. 12-13 and 19-20. The celebration will transform the park’s Oktoberfest village into a true traditional event. New beer bars throughout the village will offer guests a full range of beer styles from all over the world, including a selection of Virginia-brewed craft beers.
“This fall we are exploring the many flavors of beer with brewers from 10 countries. With beer varieties from Europe, Asia and America, Busch Gardens Bier Fest is the largest beer celebration in our park’s history. I look forward to hosting guests as we celebrate the fine art of brewing,” said Park President Carl Lum.
Guests walking through the Oktoberfest village can enjoy traditional German music by The Happy Dutchmen. This Oompah band engages audiences with songs like Edelweiss, Schitzelbank and Ein Prosit and invites the audience to join in traditional German dances, including Der Ententan and the Chicken Dance.
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 day’s event. Local craft beer brewers developed the small batches of cask-conditioned beer that will be available in limited quantities that day.
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.
Traditional German cordials also will be available for guests interested in exploring the world of liqueurs. Among the offerings will be a selection of traditional German Schnaps. Traditional Schnaps is made from apples, pears, plums or cherries. It does not contain sugar and is not particularly sweet, though it carries some of the flavor of the fruits used in the distilling process. Busch Gardens is offering a special “Cordials Tasting” at an additional cost during Bier Fest for guests who want to learn more about these offerings.
Guests can cleanse their palates with new German-inspired cuisine offered at the park only during this event, including hand-breaded pork schnitzel in creamy mushroom-and-bacon sauce and German meatballs in caper cream sauce. Das Festhaus® will also serve its regular menu during Bier Fest so guests can enjoy familiar German-inspired entrees they expect from the park.
Das Festhaus will also showcase live music during the event, including singer, songwriter and guitarist Kevin MaC the first weekendand country music group Harley Boone the second.