There’s no shortage of beer tasting venues, but there’s only one Bonteboktoberfest- known far and wide as the most unique beer event where you can drink brew at the zoo with the animals!  Presented by Binder Park Zoo and premier sponsor Battle Creek Honda, Bonteboktoberfest happens Saturday, October 13, from 6-10pm.  This popular beer festival will boast nearly fifty of the best breweries from all around the state. Stroll zoo grounds, take in the sights and visit strategically placed stations to sample a fine selection of beer, cider, mead and wine as well as “beer-centric” food pairings created by Taste of Binder Park Zoo and FireKeepers Casino Hotel.  A tempting menu of food truck specialties will also be available for purchase featuring Gorilla Gourmet, Latitude 42 and Freddy’s Food Hut.  Keeping the beat through the evening are entertainment headliners Olivia Mainville & the Aquatic Troupe, and Andrew Leahey & the Homestead performing at the Wildlife Discovery Theater with Abbey Rose & Co. in the Lounge Tent. Captivating animal encounters include a chance to see Oolong, the adorable baby red panda cub currently on exhibit at the nursery, and a rare opportunity to witness a carcass feeding at the Mexican Wolf exhibit. Play the “Carousel Derby” and enter fun raffles to win swag, cash and cool prizes!

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Those in the mood for a more discerning experience can add the VIP upgrade to enjoy exclusive, limited edition pours from Dark Horse, Arcadia Ales, Round Barn, Alaskan Brewing, BrewDog, Territorial Brewing Co, Blake’s Hard Cider and Warner Vineyards.  Nosh on delectable food pairings from Portage/Sprinkle Road Tap House and Taste of Binder Park Zoo while keeping tabs on the game streaming from the 55” Roku Smart TV on display which ALL guests can enter to win!  A special VIP bonus this year is the chance to win a “Brew Day” at the Territorial Brewing Production Facility with bragging rights included.

Advance ticket prices are $45 per person for general admission or $70 per person for general admission plus VIP access and $25 per Designated Driver or $50 per Designated Driver with VIP access.  Purchase online at now through October 12 at 5 pm.  This event is for ages 21 and over only and you must present valid ID to enter.

Each guest will receive a souvenir tasting glass, 12 drink tickets, food pairings and live entertainment. Additional drink vouchers are available for purchase plus the food truck menu choices for the bigger appetites.  Ron’s Beans will be serving small batch, hand roasted artisan coffees next to the luscious dessert creations from the Specialty Cheesecake & Dessert Co.

A complete list of the breweries and pour menu is available to view at

Several overnight packages are available at the Courtyard by Marriott with shuttle service to and from the zoo courtesy of Mosaic Car Service.  View the options and link to make a reservation at

Bonteboktoberfest is a fundraising event named for the bontebok, a species of antelope found in the Western Cape Area of South Africa and in Wild Africa at Binder Park Zoo. This event is generously sponsored by Battle Creek Honda, Firekeepers Casino Hotel, Atlas Sales, I.H.S. Distributing, Group Marketing Services, Zeigler Motorsports, Mega Bev, WKFR 103.3 and BC Sound. Binder Park Zoo is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that receives no tax funding. Proceeds from this event support zoo operations.

Don’t miss the 9th annual Bonteboktoberfest at Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek on October 13. Event runs rain or shine and tickets are non-refundable.  Go to for more information and like us on Facebook. See you at the zoo!

Binder Park Zoo Photo