Start saving May 7, beginning at 11 a.m., to hightail it to the suburbs to Sly Fox Brewing Company‘s Pottstown HQ for its annual Bock Fest and Goat Race. The rain-or-shine spectacle features one of the largest offerings of bock beers served by any brewery in the United States and includes the release of Sly Fox’s seasonal Maibock, as well as Slacker Bock, Instigator Dopperbock, two Eisbocks and more pouring strong!
Of course, if you have heard anything about the legendary event, its largest selling point—besides the beer, of course—is a goat race with more 60 competitors (and their goats), all in the running to have the festive Maibock named after their honor.
“People always come up and ask me, ‘You aren’t seriously racing goats, are you?’ and the honest answer has remained the same since we started this crazy event in 2000: ‘Yes, that’s exactly what we’re doing!,’” said Sly Fox’s brewmaster Brian O’Reilly.
Revelers will also be able to enjoy live German Oompah music and lots of bratwursts, pretzels and pizza as the event takes over the lush fields neighboring the 30,000-square-foot brewery. Additional food trucks will be available for your enjoyment, including Stella Jeanne’s Festival Food, The Cow & the Curd and Weckerly’s Ice Cream.
Bock Fest is cash-only event and free to attend. All food and drink must be purchased with tickets, available on-site. Guests may also purchase food and drink tickets using the secure BeerMe app, available for easy download.
Oh, and now you want to race a goat?
Registration opened in early April for “goat handlers” and entries will be accepted until April 24 (click here). Participants must secure their own goat and the cost is $60 per goat and includes a Bock Fest VIP Pass, mug, t-shirt and two drink tickets. All goats must be checked in by noon day-of and the first race will start at 2 p.m.
The Sly Fox Goat Hall of Fame includes legendary four-leggers—and sometimes even 3-leggers—like: George (2000), Clover (2001), Ernie (2002), Nelly (2003), Weird Beard (2004), Savannah (2005), Han (2006), Sundae (2007), Jasper (2008), Dax (2009), Nelly (2010), Peggy* (2011), Peggy* (2012), Simon* (2013), Jixxer (2014), Penny (2015), Blue Hazel (2016). *Peggy and Simon were 3-leggers
Special for 2017’s event:
A German rock-and-roller performance: As soon as the races conclude, German rock-and-roller Alex Meixner will play his accordion to entertain the crowd for the first time in the event’s 17-year history. Meixner is a global icon and Grammy-nominated musician who gained national fame after recording the “One-Man Pep Band” commercial for Hormel Foods.
A Bier Stein-Holding Contest: Take part in Masskrugstemmen, a traditional Bavarian bier stein holding contest where participants compete to see who can hold a 5-pound Liter mug, filled with Sly Fox beer, for the longest period of time (winner will receive a $100 gift card and bragging rights).
Bock Fest is a family-friendly event, with ample opportunities for children to mingle with the goats and get their faces painted to match their favorite goat racer, and meet Billy the Goat, the official mascot of Bock Fest.
For additional information, including parking and transportation, please click here. Find Sly Fox’s HQ for the main event at 331 Circle of Progress Dr. in Pottstown.