OktoBearFest (The Philadelphia Zoo, Philadelphia, PA)

The Philadelphia Zoo
3400 W. Gerard Ave
Philadelphia, PA  19104

Reported by: Pretzel

The Beer Posse headed over the bridge to the Philadelphia Zoo’s OktoBearFest last Saturday.  We’ve been to and reported on the Zoo’s Summer Ale Fest for the past 2 years, and decided to try out the autumn beer fest.  The weather was perfect.  A nice cool fall evening, plenty of beer, lots of extra activities, great food, and of course the animal exhibits.  Something for everyone (including your Designated Drivers).  The zoo’s parking garage was open and offered free to beer festers.  Bonus!  The beer-drinking members of our party, we dressed to the nines in our premium beer festing outfits…  B3 had on his beer shorts and Beer Posse hat, The Stoutmeister was in the spirit in his authentic German lederhosen, and I was in my favorite beer glass costume with beer goggles, beer hat, beer socks, and hand-painted beer shoes.  Yes, we were stylin’!  Our designated drivers (Princess & Nanny Franny) however, were in their normal street clothes.  As B3 says, we need to work on their beer fest fashion.  Oh well, no complaints here, they got us home safe and sound.

I downloaded the venue map from the internet, since there are beer stations and activities all over the zoo.  The map was not printer friendly, and I had to edit it, and revamp it so we could carry a copy with us.  I wanted to try the mechanical bull and the photo-booth which were both at the Peacock Pavilion.  Somehow even with a map, we ended up taking a rather long circuitous route to get there.  I blame B3, as he was navigating at that point.  We eventually arrived, and had to wait about 10 minutes for the mechanical bull and photo-booth to finish setting up.  So we tasted a few beers that were in that area, and I found my favorite of the day – Heavy Seas Oktoberfest!  Yum!  Soon, the mechanical bull ride was ready, so I jumped in to be the first to give it a try.  I think I should stick to corn hole and the photo-booth, as I was quite pathetic on the mechanical bull.  First off, I couldn’t even get on the darn thing, and B3 had to come to the rescue and give me a hand.  Ok, I was all settle on, and looking quite grand in my outfit on a bull.  But as soon as it moved, I immediately fell off.  I lasted 1 second.  I do think someone had greased the seat as it was extremely slippery.  I’m lucky Princess managed to get a picture of me before I fell.  She wanted to take a video, but I didn’t last long enough for her to switch to video mode.  Probably a good thing.  Oh well, it was a fun 1 second, and I guess I can cross that off my bucket list.  Next, the whole Posse got some good pics in the photo-booth.  Did I mention, these were all part of the admission price and did not cost anything extra?

So on to more beer tasting.  We split up – B3, The Stoutmeister, and I continued beer tasting, while Princess and Nanny Franny wandered off to check out the animal presentations by the zoo keepers.  There was a very nice variety in beers available.  We’ve hit some fall beer fests where it seemed like everyone was producing an overly spiced pumpkin ale.  There were a few of them, and they weren’t overdone as in years gone by.  We had lots of photo ops as we made our way across the grounds – animal exhibits, favorite beer offerings, and fellow festers who wanted photos with the Beer Posse in their outfits!

We took a break to meet up with Nanny Franny and Princess to grab some dinner from one of the many food trucks available for the beer fest.  We opted to share a large plate of meat products from one of the BBQ trucks (there were several, and I’m not sure exactly which one we ordered from).  Gotta say, it was delicious!  And it was large!  3 of us managed to make a meal out of 1 order.  The Stoutmeister and I had our caricature done (also free with admission), and it came out very cute.  So the entire Beer Posse made our way back to the main tent near the entrance to sip more beer, listen to the band Kickbax.  It was hopping at the main tent.  I ended up dancing the night away, and blowing bubbles from my bubble gun.  I had armed each of the Posse with Bubble Guns for the evening.  Nanny Franny managed to use up her bubbles and The Stoutmeisters.  It was a fun ending.  Then Princess drove us all home, so The Stoutmeister and I could take our usual post-beer fest 14-hour nap.

Reported by:  Nanny Franny

Princess and Nanny Franny always enjoy the beerfests at the zoo!  We began in the tent with the photo booth and bull ride.  Luckily there was beer vendors there to keep our beer drinking posse members occupied while they waited for the set up to be completed.  Pretzel was brave and attempted the bull ride. Her bravery was short lived sliding right off in 1 second.  At our friend’s expense, we had a good laugh.  We continued throughout the zoo at a leisurely pace stopping periodically to listen to the various zoo experts who shared their knowledge of specific animals and creatures.  The Emu was Nanny Franny’s favorite.  Instead of running to the feeder, they ran around like 3 wild boys chasing each other.  They reminded me SOOO much of our dear Posse member The Rabbit.   Our journey ended watching the crowd listen to the music and dancing with bubbles.  Never a dull moment with the Beer Posse!

Favorite Beers of the Day:

  • The Stoutmeister – Great Barn Brewery: Peanut Butter Chocolate Dunkel; Heavy Seas Oktoberfest
  • Pretzel – Heavy Seas Oktoberfest
  • B3 – Great Barn Brewery out of New Hope, PA, were pouring an excellent trio of a Kolsch, an oatmeal stout and my favorite, the Dunkelshaun Peanut Butter Chocolate Wheat Dunkel. Yeah, I needed a refill after just saying the name!
  • Nanny Franny – N/A

Additional Posse Comments:

  • The Stoutmeister – I wish more people wore costumes like we did – or maybe NOT!
  • The Stoutmeister – I wish they had more stouts / porters.
  • B3 – The beer posse needs to work on convincing the DD’s of the importance to be in proper costume for a beer fest. Nobody would believe they were part of the beer posse as they were dressed in their normal street clothes. Alas, this will be a battle to attempt for next year!
  • B3 – When you travel with a celebrity beer blogger, you can expect a throng of paparazzi to be snapping your picture frequently, and it seems some of those made it to the zoo’s official Facebook and twitter pages. Good thing that picture was still early in the beerfest as I’m not sure we would have been so photogenic by the end of the night!
  • Princess – Still my favorite beer fest.  Attendees were fun and polite.  There were plenty of things to do and overall it was a lot of fun.  Thankfully the weather cooperated.
  • Princess – They had port-a-pots, but we used the zoo bathroom.  It smelled awful!
  • Nanny Franny – Bring back the henna tattoos
  • Nanny Franny – I believe they should offer 1 complimentary DD ticket per group of 3 beer lovers to encourage responsible drinking.
  • Nanny Franny – T-shirts specific to the Beer Fest with dates should be sold for collectors.
  • Pretzel – The online venue map was not print friendly.  It should be formatted to view on a cell phone and print on 1 sheet of paper.



Overall Pretzel Score (8.84 out of 10):  

Final Scorecard (click to open): OktoBearFest

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