On the last Saturday of every February, Capital Brewery throws an outdoor party called Bockfest to feature the release of its Blonde Doppelbock beer. The event includes a 1K Running of the Blondes, live band and staff throwing fish from the roof.
I have to say this event is soooo Wisconsin–drinking beer outdoors in 20-degree weather with snow falling. After being a regular for a few years, I boycotted the event after the debacle of 2008, when Capital Brewery decided to let people in at 11 a.m. but not serve them until noon, allowed too many people to come through the gates (imagine more than 3,000 people wearing winter clothing crammed into a very tight space) and reduced the number of stands selling beer (lines were more than an hour to purchase beer).
Consider yourself forgiven, Capital Brewery. This year attendance was limited to 2,500, and there were plenty of places to buy beer (I never waited more than five minutes). Even better, patrons could purchase the Blonde Doppelbock (one per customer for the whole day) at the beginning of the event instead of later in the afternoon. This helped prevent a mad rush at the time the beer became available, and it allowed people a better way to pace themselves over drinking liters (the preferred volume at the event) of other Capital beers for the first three hours, then drinking an eight percent alcohol beer.
Many people got (free) tickets by attending the Bockfest Ticket Release Party. While the event started at 6 p.m., the first group got in line at 2:45, and by 3 p.m., there were already 12 groups in line. Perhaps an easier way is to book a room at a nearby hotel, which will not only give you a place to crash immediately after binge drinking for several hours, but also two free tickets.