Best of the Wurst
New Braunfels is about a three-hour drive for Houstonians, but fans of German beer and food have a great incentive to go before the event ends on November 13.
Wurstfest is in full swing again in the popular Hill Country town, coming out of its first weekend of 2022 festivities. Admission is free from Monday to Thursday, then $18 online for the weekend.
Although the German food is at least half the draw, Wurstfest could be called Bierfest with the sheer volume of beers it serves. And they’re not expecting too many visitors drinking before business hours end in the rather quaint New Braunfels. So, Wurstfest starts at 5 pm on weekdays, but the five hours it’s open (ending at 10 pm) offer plenty of ways to pass the time.
All weekdays start with live music at 5:30 pm on all five stages across the old German grounds. (For those who haven’t visited, this is basically a theme park: visitors wander through timber framed beer halls, past many, many concession stands, down the Comal River to a fairground, all without stepping out of Germany, it seems.) From those opening sets, there’s near-constant music on three of the stages.
Most of the entertainment comes from live music and the novelty of wandering around among the lederhosen and dirndls. (Those drinking less than friends should strongly consider bringing a book — this is from experience.) But there is some light programming every day to break up the drinking and dancing, especially for visitors with kids.
Wednesday bring smasskrugstemmen (beer holding) contest and a magic show. On Thursday, kids can hear some storytelling, and Friday, Veteran’s Day, honors veterans with a salute. Following crowds will also bring visitors to shopping, sausage-making demonstrations, and children’s fair rides.
Perhaps needless to say, the food is legitimately excellent; this is, at its heart, a culinary event, and serves more than standard fried fair foods. Obviously, sausage is a great choice, but there are potatoes, gravy, pickles, and sauerkraut to go around.
Returning revelers are thrilled to share their best recommendations for the food and imported beers. Pacing yourself, three to five hours is a very reasonable stretch for trying as much as possible and returning to old favorites.
Wurstfest tickets are available now at wurstfest.com, along with more information and entertainment schedules.