Now in its second year, the Boerne BierFest on Saturday, April 7 may be the only place where you can tap your keg and toss it, too. Indeed, the promise of an onsite keg-throwing contest is but one of the attractions that await visitors to the cozy Hill Country town just 30 miles up I-10 from San Antonio, where a century and a half of German heritage has informed a nascent craft beer renaissance. Held on Main Plaza in the historic heart of downtown, BierFest may be the only place where you can nurse a double IPA while scooting boots to an honest-to-goodness oompah band.
For $30 bucks pre-sale ($35, if you wait until the gate), attendees receive 10 sample tickets and a slick-looking stein with which to drink them. The fest is free for everyone 20 years and under, who may partake of treats from Steel City Pops, Crepe Crazy, and other food vendors. Imbibers can feel philanthropic about their brews, too: all proceeds from BierFest benefit the Boerne Community Theater and the Circle Arts Theatre in New Braunfels.
Other attractions include the Künstlerecke, where local artists will have art and souvenirs for sale, as well as both traditional and non-traditional German feats of strength. The latter of these include the aforementioned keg toss and “Masskrugstemmen,” a sort of malt-based endurance contest where competitors hold a full liter of beer out parallel to the ground for as long as they can.
With the exception of Kinematic Brewing Company, who are currently building out their new facility, every brewery in the ‘burg will be represented at Bierfest. Both Cibolo Creek and Boerne Brewing will be pouring a few of their staples (and, our sources indicate, Cibolo will be popping a surprise keg sometime during the day); Tusculum and Dodging Duck Brewhaus can’t serve beer this year (thanks, TABC), but will contribute in inventive ways, most notably Tusculum’s offering of chicken [rhymes-with-Schmidt] bingo.
They’ll be joined by both Hill Country neighbors (Spring Branch’s Rough Diamond, Fredericksburg's Altstadt), and SA ones (Ranger Creek, Weathered Souls, and Freetail), with notable names from across the state rounding out the bill.
$30 pre-sale; $35 at the gate, free for ages 20 and under, 11am-7pm, Main Plaza, Boerne, boernebierfest.org.