The Minnesota Renaissance Festival will be celebrating the art and history of beer this weekend. The Royal Ale Festival, Aug. 25 and 26, has been a staple weekend with special events including free beer tastings, Homebrew Competition, Bird Show, Bean Bag Tournament, and Barbecue Competition with vendors.
After a fun and finger-licking good event last year, the Barbecue Festival and Competition will be returning to the Realm for its third year! The weekend will feature local barbecue vendors offering free samples and selling their barbecue fares and sauces while the barbecue teams compete. Crews from all over the state will be competing for the chance to have the best barbecue in the kingdom! Competition categories will include Chicken, Pork Loin and Pork Ribs on both Saturday and Sunday. Each competitor’s barbecued creations will be evaluated by six judges on presentation, taste/flavor, and tenderness/texture. Barbecue prizes will be awarded to the top finishers in each category, each day, as well as to the Grand Champion and Grand Champion Reserve. All patrons are invited to stop by for delectable barbecue and to watch the competitors battle to become the best grill master!
Our 4th Annual Bird Show will be located by the Pavilion to give patrons the opportunity to learn about many species of these flying beauties while interacting with a variety of bird-related vendors and non-profit organizations. Whether their interest lies in local creatures or exotic specimens, patrons will be able to experience various demonstrations and seminars by vendors. The Minnesota Raptor Center will also be there to educate patrons on their birds of prey.
The Minnesota Homebrew Association will host the Homebrew Competition as beers from across the nation compete for Byggvir’s Big Beer Cup and the titles of historically accurate beers, meads and ciders categories. All patrons are invited to stop by the Blue Lions Tavern Tent from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm to view the craft beer competition and brewing demonstrations.
Visitors wishing for a taste of fine ales can stop by the Pavilion for free beer tastings provided by Grain Belt each day. Desires for a different taste can be satisfied by sampling Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea Vodka or the newest addition to the Guinness family, Black Lager, available daily at the Special Events Field. For both of these tastings, everyone must show a valid ID by order of his Majesty King Henry and the State of Minnesota.
Those wishing to let out their competitive spirit are invited to participate in the Bean Bag Tournament each day at noon and 3 pm in the Special Events Field. No matter what you prefer to call it—bean bag toss, cornhole, bags, or corn toss—it is the perfect companion to the Royal Ale Fest. All inked visitors to the Festival can enter into the first-ever Tattoo Competition at 1 pm each day in the Special Events Field. Entry is free and prizes will be awarded to the best tattoos in each category. The categories include Most Unusual/Unique, Best Arm/Leg Sleeve, Best Portrait, and Best Fantasy/Medieval. Not inked yourself? You can still get involved by helping to choose the People’s Choice winner each day.
IF YOU GO:
The Minnesota Renaissance Festival's 42nd season began on Saturday, Aug. 18 and runs through Sept. 30, 2012. The Festival is open weekends, Labor Day and a special day for schools and seniors on Festival Friday, Sept. 28th, 2012 open from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., rain or shine. The Festival is located three miles south of Shakopee on Hwy 169. Price of admission is $21.95 for adults; $12.95 for children 5 – 12; $19.95 for seniors; four and under is free; dogs $10.00 with registration. Discount tickets are sold at participating Walgreens, Menards, Whole Foods Market and Super America stores. Discount coupons are available at participating Subway, Papa Murphy’s and Dunn Brothers locations. For more information, visit www.renaissancefest.com or call 952-445-7361.