Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Bier Fest #thrillsontap

Monday, August 19, 2019
This weekend I checked out Busch Gardens Bier Fest in Tampa Bay. The annual beer festival will take place on weekends through September 8th and will give attendees the opportunity to explore over 40 craft beers from around the world! This includes 20+ Florida Craft Breweries and the beers will change throughout the festival.
Tampa has an incredible craft beer scene so this festival makes perfect sense! Along with 40+ beers, there are multiple food tents and  live entertainment. My in-laws were in town so we brought them along and had a great afternoon trying out multiple brews and bites.
I was excited to see my favorite beer, Abita Strawberry there! This beer used to be seasonal and was just made available year-round. If you go to the festival, give this beer a try. You'll thank me later.

3 Daughters Brewing, Barrel of Monks Brewing, Big Storm Brewing Co., Big Top Brewing Co., Brew Hub, Central 28 Beer Co., Cigar City Cider & Mead, Coppertail Brewing Co., Crooked Thumb Brewery, Dunedin House of Beer, Escape Brewing Co., Florida Avenue Brewing Co., Fort Myers Brewing Co., Green Bench Brewing Co., J Wakefield Brewing, MIA Beer Co., Orange Blossom Brewing Co., Pierced Ciderworks, Sailfish Brewing Co., Tampa Bay Brewing Co., Two Henrys Brewing Co., Veza Sur Brewing Co., Walking Tree Brewery
Grand Mimosa, CiderBoys
21st Amendment Brewery, Abita Brewing Co., Bell’s Brewery, Boston Beer Co., CiderBoys, Dogfish Head Brewery, Goose Island Beer Co., Lagunitas Brewing Co., New Belgium Brewing Co., Oskar Blues Brewery, Sea Dog Brewing Co., Short’s Brewing Co., Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Stone Brewing, Terrapin Beer Co., The Bruery

Hofbrauhaus, Paulaner Brewery, Peroni, Samuel Smith Brewery, Stella, Wittekerke

We tried the Reuben Croquettes and the Deep Fried Cheese Curds. Both were exceptional and I would order them again. We paired them up with the Sweet & Hot Mustard and the Maple-Bacon Honey Mustard.
  • Bacon Mac & Cheese Bites
  • Reuben Croquettes
  • Deep Fried Cheese Curds
  • Dipping Sauces: Basil Parmesan Mayo, Sweet & Hot Mustard, Maple-Bacon Honey Mustard
Deep Fried Cheese Curds and Reuben Croquettes
The two sliders we tried were the Schnitzelwich Slider and the Bratwurst Slider. I preferred the  Bratwurst Slider with the Pretzel Roll, it was perfect with the braised red cabbage.
  • Bison Slider: Grilled Bison Slider on a Pretzel Roll with Provolone Cheese, Bacon & Onion Marmalade
  • Schnitzelwich Slider: Schnitzel on a Pretzel Roll with Swiss Cheese & Maple-Bacon Honey Mustard
  • Bratwurst Slider: Split Bratwurst on a Pretzel Roll with Braised Red Cabbage & Horseradish Mustard
  • Flourless Chocolate Torte: Served with Guinness-Infused Whipped Cream
Bratwurst Slider
The groups favorite bite of the day was the Impossible Burger Slider. We didn't tell my in-laws that it was a veggie burger and they raved about it being one of the best burgers they've had. I agree. If I am going to return to the festival this year, I would buy a full sized version of one of these sandwiches. I hope Busch Gardens puts it on their menu permanently. We also tried the Short Rib & Brie Melt. It was good, just wish there was a little more short rib on the sandwich we got!
  • Short Rib & Brie Melt: Short Rib, Brie & Caramelized Onions served on a Toasted Roll with Creamy Horseradish Sauce
  • ImpossibleTM Burger Melt: Impossible Burger on Texas Toast with Provolone & Red Onion Jam
  • Griddled Cheesecake Melt: Sweet Cream Cheese Filling on Pound Cake, Grilled & served with Guava Sauce

Impossible Burger Patty Melt
  • Fried Chicken Wings tossed in your choice of Spicy Mango Sauce, Blood Orange Sesame Glaze, or Korean BBQ sauce
  • Sweet Potato Fries served with Toasted Marshmallow Dipping Sauce
  • Deep Fried Pretzel Sticks with Beer Cheese Dipping Sauce
  • Shrimp Taco: Beer-Battered Shrimp, Flour Tortilla, Shredded Cabbage, Queso Fresco & Sweet Ginger Pickled Onions on a Flour Tortilla
  • Smoked Brisket Taco: Smoked Brisket, Corn Tortilla, Citrus Chipotle BBQ Sauce, Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese & Crispy Jalapeno Strips on a Corn Tortilla
  • Jerk Chicken Taco: Grilled Jerk Chicken, Flour Tortilla, Shredded Cabbage, Smoked Pineapple Salsa & Queso Fresco on a Flour Tortilla
  • Portobello Mushroom Taco: Portobello Mushrooms Sautéed with Peppers, Onions & Corn served on a Corn Tortilla with Shredded Cabbage & Pico De Gallo
  • Adult Root Beer Float with a shot of your choice
  • Hard Coffee Float: Pabst Blue Ribbon Hard Coffee served over Chocolate Soft Serve Ice Cream
  • Rosé Float: Astoria Sparkling Rosé Moscato served over Vanilla Soft Serve Ice Cream
  • Maduro Float: Cigar City Brewing Maduro Brown Ale served over Vanilla & Chocolate Swirled Soft Serve Ice Cream
One of the things I really appreciate about Busch Gardens festivals is that you can purchase a tasting lanyard. This is great if you're going with a group of people as you can evenly split the cost, and won't be sticker shocked at the end of the day. Our group of Four split two 10 packs and it was more than enough for us. There are multiple samplers in a variety of price points. The way it works, each food and drink sample equals one hole punch. If you want a full sized beer (or wine), you can use two hole punches. Pass Members save 15% off samplers and have the access to purchase an exclusive 12 item sampler.
5-ITEM SAMPLER: $29.99 ($25.49 w/ Pass Member discount)
10-ITEM SAMPLER: $49.99 ($42.99 w/ Pass Member discount)
12-ITEM PASS MEMBER EXCLUSIVE SAMPLER: $49.99 (must be an annual pass member to purchase this lanyard)

You can check out more details and hours of the festival on buschgardens.com 

Thank you to Busch Gardens for providing us with two tickets and tasting samplers. I was not required to write this post and all opinions are my own.

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