(VIDEO) – Capital Brewing Bockfest Recap
This post is sponsored by Pick ‘n Save. All opinions are our own.
Earlier this year, Jonny Fullpint and I partnered up with the grocery store chain Pick ‘n Save in Wisconsin to help redo their Build Your Own Six Pack program which they’re calling the Craft Collection. Part of this campaign included us flying out to Wisconsin to immerse ourselves into Wisconsin culture. Our first adventure was attending the 20th Annual Bockfest at Capital Brewery in Madison. We’ve been to many beer festivals over the years, but as only Wisconsin can do, this was quite the unique experience.
Within the backyard of the brewery, there was a good mix of men and women of all ages standing in the 30-degree weather. That alone seemed baffling at first. Who would want to stand outside in that for an extended period of time? Well, after about 30 minutes in, I understood. We were guided by Capital’s Brewmaster Ashley Kinart to the first beer station and were greeted with their famous Blonde Doppelbock. This is apparently the main draw, as this is only released for this event, and yes, it is in fact blonde. It didn’t occur to us to ask the abv on this beer, and after one, the cold weather didn’t even phase us.
In regards to the actual beer, the Blonde Doppelbock was really good, and way too drinkable for nearly 8% abv. Capital’s other beers are very clean and highly drinkable. Brewmaster Ashley was rad and has a great program going there, where she’s upholding the tradition of Capital with old world styles, while also acknowledging some of the newer trends on her pilot system.
Pick ‘n Save wanted to keep all these shenanigans a surprise for us, little did we know we’d be participating in what’s known as The Running of the Blondes, a tradition upheld each year at Bockfest. Basically, it’s a group of people that run around the block dressed up like a blonde woman. Jonny and I were down for whatever after a few of those strong doppelbocks, so we obliged. Little did we know these longtime “blondes” hauled ass around that block. We were dead after that run needless to say.
After enjoying some locally made bratwurst, and a few more fresh Capital beers, we were informed we’d be doing some more Bockfest “traditions.” Lord, what next I thought. Well apparently there is the “tossing of the fish”, in which a small selection of fest goers get on stage with the band and toss little frozen fish and plastic fish out into the crowd. What the hell!! I’m iffy on cooked fish, but throwing and catching uncooked fish did not sound like a good time. Nonetheless, I was a good sport and did the throwing and the ducking. Ol’ Jonny Fullpint was a better sport and was able to catch these little stinkers in his mug. The fest goers in the crowd ate this up like we were throwing money. Only in Madison Wisconsin, in freezing weather would this happen.
We wrapped it up with a few more beers, because why not, chatted with more festgoers and sampled some locally made cheeses before calling it a day. Of all the beer festivals I’ve attended, and in contrast to the laid back vibe of California beer festivals, this was quite the experience that we’ll never forget. I can still smell those little fish when I think of Bockfest.