Busch Gardens Tampa

Busch Gardens Bier Fest Walkaround 2019 - Day Two

August 27th, 2019
  |  by Mealtrip
Labor Day Weekend at Busch Gardens, Tampa is shaping up to be a pretty great time to visit! The park's annual Bier Fest is taking place on all three days (Saturday, Aug. 31st - Monday, Sept. 2nd). We did a great little walk-around on some of the food and beverage items we found on opening day (click here to see that article), and we have all of the menu boards and prices posted as well (click here to see those).

If you're thinking about trying out five or more things at the Bier Fest, you can save some money by heading over to the Welcome Center first and picking up a Sampler Lanyard!

The Bier Fest Welcome Center is a great place to purchase a festival Sampler Lanyard.
The Bier Fest Welcome Center is a great place to purchase a festival Sampler Lanyard.


Prices for food and beverage items are in the $7-$9 range this year when you make a purchase individually. Sampling lanyards are 5 and 10 item punch cards that entitle you to 5 or 10 samples at the festival, and the do offer a savings! The 10 Item Sampler Lanyard is $49.99 plus tax, which breaks down to just over $4.99 per item — way better than $7-$9 per item.

Most of the special food and beverage booths open around noon, and crowd levels seem to come and go in waves. It didn't seem to be too crowded right when the festival area opens, but as we got a little closer to a typical "dinner time" (aka 4:30pm-ish and beyond), crowd levels picked up a little bit.

Walking around the Busch Gardens, Tampa Bier Festival.
Walking around the Busch Gardens, Tampa Bier Festival.


There's so many great tacos over at the Tacos on Tap booth, I had to go back to get a couple more!

The Tacos on Tap menu board, prices, and booth.
The Tacos on Tap menu board, prices, and booth.


The Beer Battered Shrimp on the Shrimp Taco was just perfect, fresh out of the fryer... and the little bit of zing from the ginger pickled onions with the crumbly queso fresco made this one another well-blanced taco!

The Shrimp Taco from "Tacos on Tap" features Beer-Battered Shrimp, Shredded Cabbage, Queso Fresco & Sweet Ginger Pickled Onions on a Flour Tortilla.
The Shrimp Taco from "Tacos on Tap" features Beer-Battered Shrimp, Shredded Cabbage, Queso Fresco & Sweet Ginger Pickled Onions on a Flour Tortilla.


I wrote it in my last post, but I'll say it again here… I think the Tacos on Tap booth is a "must do" at the festival because these are all really great tacos! Case in point, the last taco on the menu list is the Portobello Mushroom Taco.

The Portobello Mushroom Taco from "Tacos on Tap" features Portobello Mushrooms Sautéed with 
Peppers, Onions & Corn served on a Corn Tortilla with Shredded 
Cabbage & Pico De Gallo.
The Portobello Mushroom Taco from "Tacos on Tap" features Portobello Mushrooms Sautéed with Peppers, Onions & Corn served on a Corn Tortilla with Shredded Cabbage & Pico De Gallo.


This one was very garden fresh and not really the "tuscan heavy" that sometimes is associated with mushrooms. Not only did the Portobello Taco pair well with beer, it paired very well with the other tacos… acting almost like a little, in-between palate refresher because it was cool, crisp, and different than the other tacos!

Most of these food items are "hand holdable" but that can get a bit difficult when you're also holding a beer. Thankfully, there seemed to be a decent amount of standing and chair-based tables around. Some, like this one, were even fully covered (but there aren't too many like this).

One of the covered seating areas at the Busch Gardens Bier Fest.
One of the covered seating areas at the Busch Gardens Bier Fest.


As the areas get more crowded, I'm sure it gets a little more difficult... especially if you're looking for a table right next to the booth you're sampling food and beer from. A little stroll in one direction or another usually lead to some sort of table or bench or planter wall to rest on for a few minutes while we ate (and took photos of) the food items. The centrally located Bier Garten had quite a bit of indoor and outdoor seating available as well.

Next up is the Pub Grub booth, which is right across from the "Floats" booth and just to the side of the large Bier Garten location.

The "Pub Grub" menu board, prices, and booth from the 2019 Bier Fest at Busch Gardens, Tampa.
The "Pub Grub" menu board, prices, and booth from the 2019 Bier Fest at Busch Gardens, Tampa.


The Pub Grub booth featured some fried chicken wings (I'm not a huge "wings" fan in general, and would almost rather have boneless, chicken strips, if given the choice)… but the real star of these were the sauces.

The Fried Chicken Wings at "Pub Grub" can be tossed in your choice of Spicy Mango Sauce, Blood Orange Sesame Glaze, or Korean BBQ sauce (the Korean BBQ sauce is pictured here).
The Fried Chicken Wings at "Pub Grub" can be tossed in your choice of Spicy Mango Sauce, Blood Orange Sesame Glaze, or Korean BBQ sauce (the Korean BBQ sauce is pictured here).


You could get your fried chicken wings tossed in your choice of Spicy Mango Sauce, Blood Orange Sesame Glaze, or a Korean BBQ sauce. The wings pictured above were tossed in the Korean BBQ sauce, and it was spot-on delicious. I'm always looking for more meat on wings… but, they are what they are.

The Sweet Potato Fries (also at the same booth), paired really well with the chicken wings! They're not sweet by themselves per-say, but the Toasted Marshmallow Dipping Sauce that was drizzled on top of the fries was. I could see this one almost being a dessert item!

Sweet Potato Fries with Toasted Marshmallow Dipping Sauce.
Sweet Potato Fries with Toasted Marshmallow Dipping Sauce.


Last (but not least) at the Pub Grub booth… as if really great pretzel breadsticks weren't enough… how about some Deep Fried Pretzel Breadsticks with Beer Cheese Dipping Sauce!

Deep Fried Pretzel Sticks with Beer Cheese Dipping Sauce.
Deep Fried Pretzel Sticks with Beer Cheese Dipping Sauce.


Toasty on the outside, soft and pillowy on the inside, these are kind of a "can't miss" item, even for the pickiest eaters. If you're familiar with a Beer Cheese Dipping Sauce at a proper sit-down fondue establishment… the cheese sauce here is a little light on the "beer" and heavy on the "cheese" but… that's kind of to be expected… it's a "family friendly" item.

If the "end of Summer" heat is a little too much for you, there's an interactive team of cool down experts roaming around the Bier Fest with free personal water misting. Hey water girls!!!

The Watergirls are out and about to help you cool down with a mist of water!
The Watergirls are out and about to help you cool down with a mist of water!


A less-wet way to cool down would be over at one of my favorite beverage booths at the festival (which surprisingly, isn't even a beer booth)… the Tulip & Thistle.

Ah, my favorite beverage booth at the Bier Fest... "The Tulip & Thistle" is serving up four amazing frozen beverages... a Frozen Jack 'N Coke, Frozen Hard Lemonade, and two Frozen Sangrias.
Ah, my favorite beverage booth at the Bier Fest... "The Tulip & Thistle" is serving up four amazing frozen beverages... a Frozen Jack 'N Coke, Frozen Hard Lemonade, and two Frozen Sangrias.


That Frozen Sangria is just sooooo good. This time, I tried out the Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon… and I think I liked it better than the Rose! Gasp!

A Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon Frozen Sangria from "The Tulip & Thistle" booth.
A Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon Frozen Sangria from "The Tulip & Thistle" booth.


Near the stage area, there is a street-style, carnival type of game set up (Big Pong) along with an open field that features a couple of bean-bag toss items for the kiddos.

A quick look across the south walkway shows a game booth on the left and the main performance stage in the distant background.
A quick look across the south walkway shows a game booth on the left and the main performance stage in the distant background.


There's a couple of Festival Merchandise locations here and there as well. How about this cool looking Bier Fest T-Shirt!

Hey Bier Fest T-Shirt... you look really soft and comfy.
Hey Bier Fest T-Shirt... you look really soft and comfy.


Over by the Melted Munchies and Sip 'N Sliders booth is the main festival stage. The energetic duo "Dana and Sharon" were providing some great music, covering everything from Sinatra to Stevie Wonder and Classic Rock to Country... Big Band to Dance Band, R&B and everything in between!

It's Sharon, from the band "Dana and Sharon"... a really great cover band duo playing at Bier Fest 2019.
It's Sharon, from the band "Dana and Sharon"... a really great cover band duo playing at Bier Fest 2019.

Here's a shot of Dana, from  "Dana and Sharon"!
Here's a shot of Dana, from "Dana and Sharon"!


Speaking of the Melted Munchies booth, this brings us to this year's Impossible™ Beef Item… the Impossible™ Burger Melt.

The "Melted Munchies" booth, menu board, and prices for 2019.
The "Melted Munchies" booth, menu board, and prices for 2019.


The Impossible™ Burger is a meat-less product, that you cook and use in the same manner you would use ground beef. In this case, a patty melt.

The Impossible™ Burger Melt from the "Melted Munchies" booth is served on Texas Toast with Provolone & Red Onion Jam.
The Impossible™ Burger Melt from the "Melted Munchies" booth is served on Texas Toast with Provolone & Red Onion Jam.


Soooooo… does it taste like beef? Well this is a great opportunity to try it for yourself. This is the company's version 2.1 of the product, and it might be getting closer… but to me, it would be easy to tell ground beef vs Impossible™ Beef in a blind taste-test.

It's a little sweet, a little smokey, and kind of… mealy bean like… and it does hold form pretty well, but that instant happy feeling you get from biting into a hot, juicey, meaty burger… is just not there. A good sandwich maybe… but no replacement for beef just yet, in this writer's opinion.

Meanwhile, back over at the nearby Sip 'N Sliders booth, there's a couple of German Biergarten favorites, a Bratwurst Slider and a Schnitzelwich Slider.

It's the Sip 'N Sliders booth, menu board, and prices from the Busch Gardens Bier Fest in Tampa.
It's the Sip 'N Sliders booth, menu board, and prices from the Busch Gardens Bier Fest in Tampa.


Last year I tried the Bratwurst Slider and it was pretty great! So this year I sampled the Schnitzelwich Slider.

A Schnitzelwich Slider from the "Sip 'N Sliders" booth features Schnitzel on a Pretzel Roll with Swiss Cheese & Maple-Bacon Honey Mustard.
A Schnitzelwich Slider from the "Sip 'N Sliders" booth features Schnitzel on a Pretzel Roll with Swiss Cheese & Maple-Bacon Honey Mustard.


It sure is a pretty little slider, and the pretzel roll it was on was really great (actually, all of the pretzel roll items I came across at the festival were pretty great)… I could have used a little more of that Maple-Bacon Honey Mustard on my slider, but that might just be me. The breading on the outside of the Schnitzel was crisp and lightly seasoned.

To close things out, I wanted to try another multi-booth dessert pairing, this time with the Rose Float from the Floats booth and the Griddled Cheesecake Melt from the Melted Munchies booth.

The "Floats" menu board, prices, and the Hard Coffee Float, which features Pabst Blue Ribbon Hard Coffee served over Chocolate Soft Serve Ice Cream.
The "Floats" menu board, prices, and the Hard Coffee Float, which features Pabst Blue Ribbon Hard Coffee served over Chocolate Soft Serve Ice Cream.


Oh that Rose Float was so good… but I'm so sad it was only "pretty" for 30 seconds! The picture I got doesn't really do the drink justice.

The Rosé Float at the "Floats" booth features Astoria Sparkling Rosé Moscato served over Vanilla Soft Serve Ice Cream. Be quick if you want a picture though... it looses it's bubbles and starts melting fast!
The Rosé Float at the "Floats" booth features Astoria Sparkling Rosé Moscato served over Vanilla Soft Serve Ice Cream. Be quick if you want a picture though... it looses it's bubbles and starts melting fast!


The pink Rose with the vanilla ice cream is such a great flavor combo… but it does make big beautiful bubbles fast, and then fizzles. Not the flavor… the flavor is still great… but if you're going to get a picture of this one for Instagram… you've only got seconds after they pour the Rose over the ice cream! :)

My pairing worked out pretty well though… the Griddled Cheesecake Melt from the Melted Muchies booth was a little sweeter than some other versions I've had. The cheese in this one was not a sharp or savory cheese, but some semi-sweer variety of cream cheese that was almost more vanilla that "sweet".

The Griddled Cheesecake Melt from "Melted Munchie" features Sweet Cream Cheese Filling on Pound Cake, Grilled & served with Guava Sauce.
The Griddled Cheesecake Melt from "Melted Munchie" features Sweet Cream Cheese Filling on Pound Cake, Grilled & served with Guava Sauce.


The sweetness in this one came from that amazing cup of Guava Sauce, that also had just a little bit of tropical acidity in it as well, to keep Griddled cake from being too sweet and heavy.

This weekend, Saturday, Aug. 31st - Monday, Sept. 2nd, 2019 and next weekend, Sept. 7th and 8th 2019, are the last two weekends for Bier Fest this year!!! How can that be? It's a great, fun, tasty walk-around outing… and if I were to give two "must try" recommendations for 2019 … I'd say go all-in at the Tacos on Tap and Best Bites booths… and the Bison Slider over at the Sip 'N Sliders booth.

If you would like to see and read more about what items we found on our day one walk-around, click here.

All the menu boards and prices can be found on our site (click here), or over on Pinterest!

For any additional information from the Busch Gardens Bier Festival, be sure to visit our main Bier Fest page. We'll post the dates for next year's festival, as soon as we hear what they are!


The Mealtrip.com visit to Bier Fest was hosted by Busch Gardens, Tampa. When accepting event invitations, we are not required to review the event, and/or review the event, food, beverage, or merchandise items favorably. Check out our FAQ page for more disclosure information.
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