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BATTLE CREEK — Beer enthusiasts were able to party with the wallabees on Friday night.

For the third year, Binder Park Zoo’s BontebOktoberfest featured beers from across the state, food and, most importantly, zoo animals.

Roughly 1,000 people were in attendance, battling cold and wet weather. All proceeds went toward the preservation of the zoo’s programs.

As it had done in previous years, Arcadia Ales brewed a beer specifically for the event — this time named Goldilocks and the Three Beers (6.3% ABV). The red ale was a bit bready and piney in flavor, and featured subtle, floral hops throughout the sip.

Attendees also were able to take home a 12-ounce bottle of the brew.

Of all the beers sampled that day though, I left being most excited about Bad Bear Brewery’s Peanut Butter Porter (7.3% ABV). The dark-brown colored brew was very balanced for what I’d consider a “specialized” beer, with a subtle, natural peanut butter flavor that was reminiscent of the high quality, organic peanut butter you might see on store shelves. It was the first brew I tried, and when I went back for more later in the night, it was completely gone, and for good reason.

I also was impressed with Olde Peninsula’s Stout Chocula (5.25% ABV) — a milk stout with layers of cocoa, vanilla and nut. It was pretty drinkable — being medium bodied with light carbonation.

The $40 event also featured live music from band Funktion, a 50/50 raffle, a “Lizard Lounge” and carousel derby.

BATTLE CREEK — Beer enthusiasts were able to party with the wallabees on Friday night.
For the third year, Binder Park Zoo’s BontebOktoberfest featured beers from across the state, food and, most importantly, zoo animals.
Roughly 1,000 people were in attendance, battling cold and wet weather. All proceeds went toward the preservation of the zoo’s programs.
As it had done in previous years, Arcadia Ales brewed a beer specifically for the event — this time named Goldilocks and the Three Beers (6.3% ABV). The red ale was a bit bready and piney in flavor, and featured subtle, floral hops throughout the sip.
Attendees also were able to take home a 12-ounce bottle of the brew.
Of all the beers sampled that day though, I left being most excited about Bad Bear Brewery’s Peanut Butter Porter (7.3% ABV). The dark-brown colored brew was very balanced for what I’d consider a “specialized” beer, with a subtle, natural peanut butter flavor that was reminiscent of the high quality, organic peanut butter you might see on store shelves. It was the first brew I tried, and when I went back for more later in the night, it was completely gone, and for good reason.
I also was impressed with Olde Peninsula’s Stout Chocula (5.25% ABV) — a milk stout with layers of cocoa, vanilla and nut. It was pretty drinkable — being medium bodied with light carbonation.
The $40 event also featured live music from band Funktion, a 50/50 raffle, a “Lizard Lounge” and carousel derby.

Drinking a beer with a giraffe is possible this Friday at Battle Creek’s Binder Park Zoo.

The zoo hosts the third annual BontebOktoberfest from 6-10 pm.

For $40 dollars — pre-sale price — guests receive a commemorative glass, a meal and 12 drink tickets. Designated driver tickets also are available. Proceeds go to the zoo’s conservation.

“There’s been a few zoos that do it and we thought it’d be fun to try,” said Kari Parker, Binder Park’s marketing director. “It’s a unique way to do a fundraiser and it’s a lot of fun.”

Battle Creek’s Arcadia Ales brewed a special beer for the event, named Goldilocks and the Three Beers, in honor of the three orphaned cubs the zoo welcomed in July. The beer will be available around Battle Creek after the event and the proceeds will go back to the zoo.

Breweries from across the state — and “new-to-Michigan” New Belgium Brewing —  will be available as well, including Bell’s Brewery, Atwater Brewery, New Holland Brewing, North Peak Brewing Co., Saugatuck Brewing Co., Shorts Brewing Co., Dark Horse, Jolly Pumpkin Brewery and Founders Brewing Co. B. Nektar will also be on hand with meads from Detroit.

Round Barn Brewery will host a VIP Brew School with tickets available for an extra $15.

Wine tasting will also be on site.

Last year about 800 people attended the event and the organizers expects more than that this year.