Sip Some Bock And Pray For Spring! That's the way the Schell's Brewery in New Ulm, Minnesota invites you to Bock Fest. Bock Fest 2019 was held at the Schell's Brewery on Saturday, March, 2nd. I attended in the company of my brothers and a few thousand other spring seekers.

In case you didn't know "bock" is a German term meaning "drink beer in the snow". The high for the day was around 9+ degrees. Your beer stayed cold and the bugs weren't bad. When we arrived at the Shell's Brewery grounds we were a bit surprised to see the number of people that were pouring in. And a few hours later pouring out.

After we gave them our $10 dollar pass they let us each buy $20 bucks worth of tickets. 20 tickets for $20 bucks. We weren't sure what these tickets were going to buy, but the nice lady assured me they would come in handy. And they did.

Each Bock Beer was 4 tickets. Seemed like a fair trade to me. I traded a few times. A Bratwurst with Sauerkraut was 4 tickets. This was not as fair of a trade. I only made that mistake once.

We had understood that folks would be searching for the "7 Bocks of Winter" that were hiding around the brewery and in the adjacent Flandrau State Park. And if brave festers were to venture out and capture them Old Man Winter would loose his grip on Minnesota. Word is the 7 Bocks were found. Hasn't helped the weather yet.

You can also get your beer “Poked” at Bock Fest. They have a big bonfire with steel pokers in it. There are a half dozen guys hollering to the crowd inquiring if you'd like to have your beer “Poked”? Why wouldn't ya? These guys are very talented. They stuff a red hot steel poker in your beer without melting your plastic glass. They say this process 'caramelizes' your brew. I found it also makes it taste like an ashtray. Everyone else seemed to really enjoy beer pokin'.

The cold didn't bother any of the Bock Festers that I could tell. The beer was flowing and the Polka music was doing, well...whatever Polka music does. Polka music and day-drinking go really well together in Minnesota.

In summary, on a scale of 1 to 5 frosty mugs of beer, I would give the Schell's Brewery Bock Fest “6”. It's a lot of fun and a great way to stick it to Old Man Winter.

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