First, we want to say a big thank you to Busch Gardens for inviting us out to cover Bier Fest this year. Along with Summer Night, which will be going on through September 6th, Bier Fest brings over 100 different beer, wine and cocktails to the already fun atmosphere of Busch Gardens. Running through September 12th (Friday through Sunday only), it showcases local and Florida breweries and the foods that compliment them. But don’t worry, if you are not a partaker of the “adult beverage” do not think that this festival is not for you. There is still a lot of things to choose from as well as the many things in the park that you will want to see and do.
Of course, Busch Gardens is known for their amazing coasters, so even before we decided to explore the booths, we had to hop on a couple of roller coasters (don’t worry, we will be live streaming these coasters much more in the future). Then, we had built up a thirst and getting a little bit hungry, so after we took the train around the park (it is quite a long ride) and saw quite a few of the “residents” along the way.
We went to a few of the booths and picked what we thought might be the best. First we chose the Sam Adams Octoberfest Braised Short Ribs over creamy onion mashed potatoes. I do have to say, Alessa and I were going to split it but it was very good and I ended up eating more than my share. I paired it with a Sam Adams Octoberfest beer.
Throughout the night, we wanted to make sure we got the most out of our lanyard, so we went for some of the drinks, not realizing that they have way more choices than just beer. Alessa tried the frozen sangria, one was a peach one and the other was a fruity one called the The Serengeti Sunrise which was Flor de Caña Rum, Strawberry and Orange. They both were very good and super refreshing. We also had the Hot Chicken Slider which was very good, and comes with Habanero Honey Drizzle, Coleslaw, B&B Pickles. Later that night, after checking out some of the sights and sounds of the park, we came back and had the Impossible Burger, which was super huge and Alessa had the put some of the Habanero Honey Drizzle on it as well (she is a spicy girl). It was good and very filling.
I do have to say that the hidden find of the evening was the Giraffe Bar. This is a new venue that has recently opened up and it is a 10/10 for us. It is very themed to the Serengeti and has a very nice open space inside with the bar where you can go get your drink and then go outside. From the seating areas, you can see, yes, giraffes, as well as zebras and others as well as watch the train go by. Frankly, if we would have known about this place earlier, we would have been very happy just relaxing and enjoying the view. The staff was super nice, offering samples and suggestions of what to get and we did get the Tropical Mimosa which was very good.
The surroundings and pathways are very peaceful and beautiful, some adorned with awesome topiaries. From the massive heights and roars of the coasters to the music and glowing lights, we loved being here.
Alessa’s first time at Busch Gardens will definitely not be her last and she even wanted to play the tourist role while we were here, immersing herself in all things that the theme park had to offer, of course, merchandise being one of them. From all sorts of hats, t-shirts with your favorite animal resident or if you want to show off the coaster that you survived, there are gift shops galore to help you bring home that souvenir.
We ended the night with a bang, or should I say Spark!, as the fireworks are on full display right now as part of Summer Nights. We have seen a lot of fireworks shows and although this may not be the “best” it surely is worth seeing. The fact that we were so close and no crowds made it even more enjoyable and the music, lights, water show and fireworks, all coming together (oh, and there was fire too), made it very exciting. We will absolutely be going back if we can before the season ends.
All in all, it was an amazing night and would absolutely recommend making Busch Gardens a stop on your next trip when you are in the area and especially if you are a local. Honestly, I forgot how much fun it was and seeing how much fun Alessa had being it was her first time there, made it even more, dare I say, magical. Whether you love animals, thrill rides, food, beer, whatever, there is much to see and do no matter when you go. With seasonal events coming up as well such as Howl O Scream and Christmas Town, we will be showing you much more of why Busch Gardens is a theme park you do not want to miss.
We are also super excited for the opening date of Iron Gwazi, the newest roller coaster to come to Busch Gardens. As thrill fanatics, this wood and steel hybrid coaster design, featuring a maximum height of more than 200 feet tall seemed to be calling to us as we passed by.
If you are looking to catch Bier Fest at Busch Gardens before it ends on October 31st see the amazing fireworks of Spark! for yourself, or get scared at Howl O Scream, visit https://buschgardens.com/tampa/events/bier-fest/. Adventure awaits!!
Busch Gardens; Spokesmayne