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Boerne BierFest: an Epic Start to Festival Season Hits the Hill Country Mile

Boerne Bier FestSpring is here (maybe unofficially, but my thermometer says otherwise) which brings with it the other most wonderful time of the year—FESTIVAL SEASON! These sunny days and cool evenings are the perfect time to warm up with a few fests so you can start making a game plan on how to attack the mother load of them all---Fiesta. You know, like finding the best secret parking places, breaking in the new flip flops, officially ending your New Year’s resolutions-type stuff.

Festival T-ShirtAs far as festivals go, I’m game for anything and everything, and have yet to meet a festival I didn’t like. I’ve covered themes from apples to zydeco, in between hitting wine, jazz, crawfish, tamales, po’ boys, peaches, rock n’ roll, classic cars and more. I’ve been to so many festivals, in fact, I had to buy a special Festival shirt so that I would be covered for any occasion.

So it goes without saying that I’ve already gotten my ticket for the newest festival to hit the Hill Country--Boerne BierFest, which is shaping up to be the perfect start to this fabulous season of “festing.” Plus, it's right in the heart of Boerne's beautiful historic downtown, known as the Hill Country Mile, so I'll be able to grab brunch and hit a few shops before heading over to the BierFest.

The inaugural Boerne BierFest has signed on more than 20 of Texas’ top craft brewers to converge at Boerne's historic Main Plaza on April 1 from 1-6 p.m. to bring you some of the finest craft beer in the state of Texas. This is serious beer, y’all, made by passionate and knowledgeable brewers. If you’re new to the craft beer scene, this is a great way to learn the basics. If this is old-hat, then you’ll have the chance to ask some great questions. And if the beer isn’t enough, there’s also great lineup of authentic German entertainment and traditional “feats of strength” (more on that later) to make for a really fun afternoon.

Bier FlightA $30 ticket gets 10 samples in a commemorative sampling stein, but if you need a few more “just to be sure” (I know I will), additional tickets can be purchased for $2. BierFest also has a “Bier + Art” competition component with stein-themed art, and those artist-created pieces will be auctioned at the event.

Back to “feats of strength,” I’m mostly looking forward to watching the Stein Hoist contest (called  “Masskrugstemmen” if you’re German) where you hold a full beer stein out with one arm for as long as you can. After some research, I found out that a full .5-liter stein equals a little over 5 pounds, so of course I immediately grabbed a 5-pound weight, hit the stopwatch and scoffed at this simple competition. It took about 10 seconds to realize my body did not want me to do this activity. MasskrugstemmenAt around 15-20 seconds my arm began to shake, and at 30 I had beads of sweat forming on my face. I gave in at 1:31 and had a useless arm for the next hour or so, and since I was using a weight, I wasn’t even rewarded with a cold beer. I imagine contestants willing arms to stay strong, with contorted faces and quivering hands, so naturally, I’ll be first in line to watch.

The biggest plus to BierFest is that 100% of the proceeds benefit the Boerne Village Band, the world’s longest continuing playing German band (outside of Germany of course), in their quest to play in their sister city over there. This band is such a wonderful, kind, talented group of musicians and I for one am happy to help send them on a trip to represent Boerne.Boerne Village Band  Check out this cheerful group!

You can get your tickets now at online, or get them for $35 at the gate. I suggest getting them now, as it’s a charity event and all, and I just figure it relieves anxiety on their end, and you’ll have your ducks in a row before things get crazy.

Oh and back to the feats of strength (I might be a little obsessed)—I suggest giving “Masskrugstemmen” a shot, but start practicing now. You can register online to enter, along with the keg tossing contest and a competition for best German-dressed.

For more details and a full schedule of events, visit www.boernebierfest.org, and follow them Facebook.

Guest blogger: Kirk Thompson is a wife and mom (yes, with a boy's name) who loves festivals, patios and days she doesn’t have carpool.