Super Fantastic Bockfest Preview

Capital Brewery’s annual Bockfest hoo-rah is tomorrow. Gird your livers.

Ah, Bockfest. Years ago, it was little more than a pleasant way to get buzzed in the great outdoors. You’d flip winter the bird, sip some Blonde Doppelbock, and duck as fish were tossed from the brewery roof. Good times.

And then… well, it got popular. Exceedingly popular. Where once the event took place only in the beirgarten and the brewery’s modest tasting room, now it sprawls into the parking lot and the warehouse. Porta-johns are plentiful. It’s a ticketed event now, and kind of a big deal.

It remains a celebration of some truly powerful beer. Capital specializes in high-octane German lagers that can be surprisingly drinkable. I’ve seen veteran beer drinkers reduced to puddles at this event, so it’s wise to pace yourself. The Blonde Doppelbock (8% ABV, give or take) is the showcase beer, and must be tried. However, I find that the Maibock (6% ABV) can be easier to absorb in great quantities, and thus is even more dangerous.

Tickets for Bockfest are sold out, but there are general admission spots available if you care to wait in line. The event in a nutshell:

WHERE: Capital Brewery

THE COST: $10 entrance fee (includes a big-ass plastic mug); cash beer purchases.

THE SCHEDULE: Ticket gate opens at 11:00 am, general admission gate opens at noon. Music at 1:00 pm, fish toss at 3:00 pm, taps close at 4:00 pm, get the hell out at 5:00 pm.

FISH TOSS? It’s… just… they throw fish. You have to see it.

MUST DRINK: At least one Blonde Doppelbock. The Maibock is a solid choice after that. When things get fuzzy, Supper Club is an acceptable substitute for something like PBR. U.S. Pale is the closest you’ll get to a hoppy beer, but that’s not really why you’d go to something called “Bockfest,” now is it?

RECOMMENDATIONS: Pretty standard for a beer event, really. Drink at a reasonable pace. Eat something. Get in line at a porta-john the moment the urge hits. Get a ride home. And do be aware that the featured brews are stronger than the usual offerings.

Photo from Capital Brewery