Everything You Need To Know About Bockfest 2020

Friars, goats and plenty of beer.

Can you believe it’s been 28 years of Bockfest?

One of Cincinnati’s quirkiest and most unique festivals is back this weekend February 28 – March 1, celebrating the coming of Spring, Bock beer and Over-the-Rhine’s rich brewing history.

This year it’s bigger and better than ever with a couple new additions and all your favorite events. As always, we’re here to help break it all down.

First of all, what exactly is a “Bock” beer?

If you didn’t know, “Bock” roughly translates to Billy Goat in German. It was first brewed in Germany way back in the 14th century and often enjoyed during celebrations. It was also known for a having a higher nutritional content for those fasting during lent.

Today, there are several types of Bock beer you’ll find out and about at the festival

  • Traditional Bock: sweet, malty and relatively strong.
  • Maibock: sometimes called a Helles Bock or a Heller Bock, it’s a helles lager brewed with the strength of a traditional bock, but lighter in color with a slightly hoppier taste.
  • Doppelbockor “double bock”, this is a stronger version of the traditional bock beer first brewed by Friars in Munich.
  • Eisbock: this one is harder to find. It’s a specialty beer made by partially freezing a doppelbock and removing the ice and water to make it more concentrated.
  • Weizenbock: a bock brewed using wheat instead of barley.

Where can I try them?

Bock Beer
Listermann’s Friar Bacon Bock

All official venues will have drink and beer specials all weekend (see the full list here), but if you really wanna explore what Bock beer is all about you’ve gotta head to the center of the action: Bockfest Hall. It’s located at the Christian Moerlein Brewery in Over-the-Rhine.

All weekend long, they’ll be pouring:

  • Christian Moerlein Emancipator Dopplebock
  • Hudepohl Festival Bock
  • Schoenling Bock (winner of the 2019 Bloatarian Brewing League homebrew competition)​
  • Sonder William Goat Bock Bier
  • Sonder Bruder Dunkelweizen (Sunday Only)
  • Taft’s Ale House Billy Goat Bock

In addition to the featured bock beers, 24 bock beers from over 20 local breweries will be available as part of the Bock Beer Experience on Saturday.  Tickets are available HERE. Participating breweries and beers include:

  • 13 Below Fluss Bock
  • 16 Lots Bayern Kurve
  • Alexandria Slayerator
  • Bircus Incinerator Doppelbock
  • Braxton Ignitor Maibock
  • Brink Brinkinator Doppelbock
  • Christian Moerlein  Emancipator Dopplebock
  • Dogberry Freiheit Bock​
  • Fibonacci Fiddlehead Maibock
  • Fifty West Roadbock Maibock
  • Grainworks Cincinnati Liars Lager (Weizenbock)
  • HighGrain Outram Weizenbock
  • Hudepohl Festival Bock
  • Listermann Friar Bacon Smoked Bock
  • Narrow Path Pathinator Doppelbock
  • Off Track Dunlap Bock
  • Paradise Billy Baroo Doppelbock
  • Platform Saxony Solo Bock​
  • Rhinegeist Bock Bock Goat
  • Samuel Adams Doppelbock
  • Schoenling Bock (winner of the 2019 Bloatarian Brewing League homebrew competition)​
  • Sonder William Goat Bock Bier
  • Taft’s Big Billy Goat Bock
  • Wiedemann Flying Deutschmann Bock
  • Woodburn Bock

Another great place for a wide variety of beers is Arnold’s Bar and Grill. They’ll be tapping new bocks with some extremely rare tappings every hour from 3PM – 7PM on Saturday night. See the full beer list here. 

Where is it happening?

Bockfest happens at more than two dozen bars and restaurants scattered across OTR. Check out the interactive map below, and take the FREE Bockfest Shuttle provided by Cincy Brew Bus (Friday 7PM-1AM and Saturday 7PM-1AM) to all the participating venues.

What are the big events?


Bockfest Parade
Photo: Facebook


  • Bockfest Hall is open from 5PM – 1AM at Christian Moerlein Brewery, 1619 Moore Street.
  • Party at Arnold’s: Celebrate Bockfest with over 18 Bocks from all over the world on tap, wild game specials menu and live music all night!.
  • The Bockfest Parade: Steps off at Arnold’s Bar and Grill at 6PM Usually, lead by a goat pulling a keg and the reigning Sausage Queen along with the official parade marshal. It goes up Sycamore Street to 12th Street then over to Main Street ending at Bockfest Hall (Christian Moerlein Brewery) and ends with the blessing of the bock beer.
  • After the Parade – Party Like A Bockstar: Happening at Bockfest Hall (Christian Moerlein Brewery) right after the blessing of the beer.




  • Bockfest Hall is open from 10AM – 1AM Stop by and learn about our amazing history at the Heritage Series, you can even take a tour through some of the historic pre-Prohibition breweries including lagering cellars deep underground.
  • Bockfest 5K: Kicks off at Bockfest Hall at 10AM
  • Bock Beer Experience: 12PM-6PM 24 bock beers from over 20 local breweries will be available as part of the Bock Beer Experience on Saturday. Tickets for the Saturday event are $30 and include 4oz samples of every bock beer on draft at Bockfest plus a Bockfest pint glass. Tickets are available HERE
  • The Bock Tour: 12PM-5PM An immersive guided historic tour experience starting at Bockfest Hall. Tickets are $25 and are available HERE.
  • Bock Beer Games: 1PM-3PM Root for your favorite breweries as they compete for the Brewer’s Cup. Before and after the competitions, games will be open for the public to enjoy!
  • BockFeast Pig Roast: 12PM-5PM and Sunday from 12PM-4PM. All tickets include a full meal and a beer/wine/soda/water ticket. Dinners are served buffet style and can be taken anywhere at Bockfest Hall or the Festival Tent. Tickets are $30 and available by pre-sale ONLY HERE.
  • Beard Baron Competition: 7:30PM at Bockfest Hall. All facial hair enthusiasts compete to be the Bockfest Beard Baron. Registration will be from 5PM-7PM in Bockfest Hall, next to the stage.
  • Sausage Queen Finals: 9PM-10PM at Bockfest Hall. In conjunction with the Beard Baron competition, the renowned (and sometimes notorious) Sausage Queen helps lead the Bockfest Parade by carrying a symbolic tray of Bockwurst sausage.


Photo: Facebook


  • Bockfest Hall is open from 11AM – 7PM
  • Continental Sunday: All day at Bockfest Hall featuring family-friendly events.
  • Goat Yoga: 11AM A 1 hour guided yoga session with goats! Tickets are $30 and include a beer, quantities are limited and available HERE. Your own mats are required.
  • Little Links Pageant: 12PM-1PM at Bockfest Hall. Little Links participants are invited to dress in their best “Welcome Spring” attire, from traditional German attire, goats, monks etc… Must be registered by 5PM on Thursday, March 1st.
  • The Bock Tour: 12PM-2PM An immersive guided historic tour experience starting at Bockfest Hall. Tickets are $25 and are available HERE.
  • Petting Zoo: 12PM-4PM Bring the kids and pet some goats!
  • Beer & Bygone Days: 1PM-5PM in the Bockfest Festival Tent for an afternoon of talks, presentations, and displays all about beer and brewing heritage. The event is FREE!
  • .05K Fun “Run”: 3PM Not quite ready to tackle the 5K yet? at Bockfest Hall. Make it the 164 feet and be rewarded with a limited edition t-shirt, bottle opener medal, and a beer. Registration is $30 available HERE.

Check out a full list of events here and enjoy!

Click here for ticket packages and experiences.

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