Bockfest 2013: Beer, Goats, Running and More Beer

Written By Caroline in Events

21st Annual Bockfest Logo - Bockfest 2013

Celebrate Cincinnati’s breweries and local community at Bockfest in Over the Rhine.

21st Annual Bockfest

Bockfest Hall
Christian Moerlein Brewery
1619 Moore St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202

What: Celebrate Cincinnati’s brewing heritage and the coming of spring in Over the Rhine.
When: March 1-3
Friday: 6:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Saturday: 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Cost: Entrance is free
Food, Drinks and Event costs vary


The 21st Annual Bockfest is this weekend, kicking things off with the Bockfest Parade on Friday, March 1st beginning at 6:00 p.m. at Arnold’s Bar and Grill and ending in Bockfest Hall with The Blessing of the Beer. The hall itself opens on Friday at 5:00 p.m. and closes at 1:00 a.m. On Saturday Bockfest Hall will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. and finally on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. The hall houses many festival activities all of which are free (except for tours) from live music to food and, of course, lots of beer. The final rounds of the Sausage Queen competition will be hosted there on Saturday evening.

One of our favorite parts of Bockfest are the Historic Brewery and Over the Rhine church tours, giving many an opportunity to see a side of OtR not normally available. The Brewery District Community Urban Redevelopment Corp. who run the tours have planned to feature this year three pre-Prohibition breweries including lagering cellars and tunnels deep below Over the Rhine. Participants will learn how Cincinnati came to be one of the major brewing centers in the country, how beer was vital to the development of Over the Rhine and the impact the breweries had on the city. Unfortunately all the tickets have already sold out. More information on the tours is available via the CURC website.

The Over the Rhine Foundation in partnership with American Legacy Tours is sponsoring the OTR church tours, which are set to visit four 19th century churches: St. Francis Seraph, First Lutheran, Nast Trinity and Price of Peace. There are only two slots for the tour and tickets are $20 per person. More information about the tours along with ticket purchasing is available on the OtR Foundation website.

The Christian Moerlein Beer Series kicks off this Saturday, March 2nd with the Bockfest 5k at 10:00 a.m. The Christian Moerlein Beer Series is a series of three races served by the Flying Pig Marathon to celebrate Cincinnati’s history of brewing and running. Entry to the Bockfest 5k is $30 in advance or $40 on race day and include entry to the race, a t-shirt, medal and post-race party. Proceeds from all races will benefit local charities. To learn more about the series or how to sign up visit the Flying Pig Marathon’s Beer Series page.

In celebration of Bockfest many local businesses are offering specials or Bockfest-themed events. The list includes many restaurants and the Night Owl Market, the list of which can be found in full on the official other venues page.

Bockfest is an annual event held to celebrate Cincinnati’s rich brewing history and the coming of spring while supporting the local community and businesses. German Monks once brewed bock beer during the Lenten fast due to its higher nutritional content and higher alcohol content than other lagers. Dozens of Over the Rhine breweries in pre-Prohibition times would release bock beers around Lent, a tradition revived by the Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewery Co in 1993. This led to the creation of Bockfest. Goats play a role in Bockfest and lead the Bockfest parade – the connection being that ‘bock’ is goat in German. There is no charge to attend Bockfest however certain events, food and drinks are not free.

A free shuttle is available to transport festival-goers to the various Bockfest venues and events. The shuttle is set to run from 7:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. on Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.. On Saturday and 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Sunday. The full bus schedule can be found at the Decal Impressions Bockfest Shuttle page.

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