News & Updates

2009 Bock Fest – 2/21/09!


Shame, shame, shame on us for not getting this posted as an event sooner!  I shall tar and feather myself.  August Schell is hosting their 22nd annual Bock Fest this year on Saturday, 2/21/09 in New Ulm.  Admission is $5 at the gate.  This event is generally very well attended….very, very well attended.  So, if you would actually like to get into the event, I suggest you get in line early.  I don’t see an official start time on the Schell’s website, but on Beer Advocate it says that gates crash open at 11 A.M. and you get the firehoses at 4 P.M.

What’s that?  Bock me, you say?  Well my friend, Bock you too!


  1. shanes66charger says:

    It’s the advantageous bocktageous extravaganza!

  2. shanes66charger says:


  3. Ben says:

    Caramel Bock actually.

  4. Trav says:

    Its not called Carmel Bock Fest. Bocktageous indeed.

  5. Stu says:

    So, you (Carmel) Bock Fest Vets, what’s a good time to show up? 4AM?

  6. Jason B says:

    Bock you, Bockhead!

    Bockfest has kind of exploded over the past few years, meaning line info from even 4 years ago is pretty useless given today’s larger throngs. I showed up last year around 11:30 and wited in a line that stretched to damn near the Target parking lot. Daunting, but the line moved remarkably quickly for the size (well, the fact that the people ahead of me in line were quite generous with their cache of Jell-o shots helped pass the time) and I was in in about 20-25 minutes. Last year was the first where the gates were shut when attendance hit 6,000 festers, and the cut-off happened well after I and my line co-horts got through, so I would guess that 4 a.m. would be overkill.

    I’m going to try and gauge how soon I have to be there by how soon the buses that some area bars use to shuttle in festers will arrive, since that constitutes a large enough portion of the crowd that beating them woul be advantageous. Without that info, I’m guessing that 10 a.m. will get a person in, albeit with ample chance to take in the pre-fest in-line revelry. When the gates open, the line will move swiftly if other years are an accurate guide.

    A sidenote: I think last year’s attendance was exacerbated by an article in the Mankato Distorter (heh) that started off with the line “While most liquor companies would balk at the idea of giving away their product, even for one day, one New Ulm-based brewery has made it an annual tradition.”, implying free beer after the $5 entry. Gee, THAT’S not going to attract the local college ilk!

  7. Chad says:

    The Schell site now says in order to deal with the high number of people, they’re going to cut back the capacity by 10% over last year and using what sounds like a one in, one out policy after that has been reached. So, uh, yeah, keep that in mind.

  8. Trav says:

    Just hope the beer lines take under 45 min. to get threw this year. One was actually sober-ish leaving the fest last year.

  9. Cecil says:

    As far as I know, the beer served at Bockfest is 3.2 % alcohol.

  10. Ben says:

    Cecil: You are correct. It is special Caramel Bock brewed just for the event.

    The people that complain about the lines always seem to be those that don’t buy their max 4 beers each time through. Sure you’re going to waste your day in line if you buy a single beer at a time. We go in shifts with our group and everyone grabs 4. We never have a problem running outta beer or spending too much time in line even when it gets long about 1/2 way through.

  11. Jason B says:

    Ben is right – Bringing a large contanter (pitcher, krug, what have you) or holder that can accomodate multiple beers is Essential; it ensures that the only long lines in your future are for the bathrooms. I bring a 4L pitcher and team up with a buddy to house 8 beers at one time. It’s a workout at first (incentive to drink it down!), but it is also fun to have carmelized – the 4L pitcher is a two-poker job, attacked with zeal by fire tenders bored with plastic cups that overflow instantly with the iron’s first kiss.

    According to their Facebook page, the gates will open at 10:45 a.m., and serving will commence at 11. The few buses I’ve seen on line have arrival times of 11 a.m., with one bus leaving Faribault at 10 (that’s more than an hour trip). Not a large sample size of buses, but it looks like arrival before 11 will get you in, even with the 10% capacity cut-back.

  12. Trav says:

    I dont know if I have ever seen people NOT buy 4 at once. Having a big vessel to pour them all in does help spillage though. I have gone for the past five years, and for whatever reason, last years beer lines were the worst I had ever experienced. One would benefit from bringing a bunch of people that perhaps wouldnt drink all 4 of their beers, but alas, I dont have friends like that.

    I bring my DV every year to chronicle such things, and we had running commentary of our time in line, got in line for beer at 2:17, had beer at 3:02.

  13. Adam R says:

    Does anyone know if there are shuttles running from Mankato to New Ulm and back?

  14. Johnny B says:

    Once the Fest was off-handedly mentioned in the Star Tribune a few years back (just a casual one liner thing), the attendance exploded, and either Schell’s or the city of New Ulm actually called the paper and asked them not to mention it again in the future.

    **must remember massive “mug on a chain”**

  15. Angie B says:

    There are buses leaving from a few bars in Mankato and St Peter. Busters, Patricks, South Street Saloon and The Oleander to name a few. Contact the bars for information. Cost is $20.

  16. Badger L says:

    If you are on the fence about going to this, let me be the first to highly recommend it. I went to school in Minnesota, and actually drive up from Milwaukee for it. If you are in college, I give it 5 stars. I see plenty of older people there, but can only speak for the younger crowd. Tons of cheap good beer, fun crowd, shuttles to bars afterwards. The line is definitely daunting so bundle up and bring some beers to drink in line, but it’s awesome.

  17. Tom says:

    How much are beer tickets inside?

  18. Jason B says:

    Tickets are $1 each, and each beer will part you from three of those tickets. I’m guessing food will be in the 6-8 ticket range.

    Now it’s time for Bock Fest Eve Day warm-ups:

    Love is a burning thing
    and it makes a fiery ring
    bound by wild desire
    I fell into a ring of fire

    I fell into, a burning ring of fire
    I went down, down, down, and the flames went higher
    and it burns, burns, burns
    the ring of fire, the ring of fire

    (Chorus Repeat)

    The taste of love is sweet
    When hearts, like ours meet
    I feel for you like a child
    Oh but the fire went wild

    (Chorus Repeat x2)

  19. Boss Hog says:

    Is each beer 12 oz or how much?????

  20. Angie B says:

    BTW –
    If you hate any of the following, buy a six pack of Bud and stay home.

    3.2 beer
    Johny Cash
    Ring of Fire
    Vulcans (the Winter Carnival variety. Not Star Trek)

  21. Jonny Big Bawls says:


  22. Jason B says:

    Food prices were actually $3 for bratwurst or landjaeger and $1 extra for sauerkraut to top it. Not sure how I thought it was $6-8, except I think there were combo platters with spaetzel soup in the past, but that’s only a vauge recolection that is probably not true.

    The fest was once again great fun! Did anyone see the Beer Fairy?

  23. Toby says:


    He had his girlfriend to help him get on the bus back to Kato….He was one drunk fairy.

  24. ?????????? ??????????. ???????. ???????? ?? ?????? ???????? ??????

  25. If anyone is interested, we are beginning to plan a bus trip from Mankato to New Ulm for Bockfest 2010, on February 13th. Tentatively, we are planning with Mettlers and may, I repeat, may have “entertainment” on the bus. Put this site on your favorites and check back for further info.

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