22 September 2011

Brewfest: Someone try this super brew!

Do you like beer? I know who does - the citizens of Azeroth! Brewfest is a dwarven-centric holiday coinciding with the Bavarian Oktoberfest. It begins in late September and continues for 16 to 18 days, up until the first Sunday of October. In keeping with the festival it mimics, Brewfest is a "time to enjoy the fermented fruits of the harvest: pretzels, cheese, and booze!" It features a wide variety of themed food and drink, festive clothing, minipets, daily quests, fun vanity items, and a daily boss dropping level 85 loot.

Oktoberfest began in 1810 in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It was originally in the month of October, but was moved back to September to take advantage of nicer weather. Now, the end coincides with German Unity Day on October 3rd. It is held in Theresienwiese, shortened to Wiesn, and is the world's largest fair. Appropriately, Brewfest holds the Guiness World Record for the Largest Virtual Beer Festival. In Azeroth, revelers should go to Orgrimmar or Ironforge to participate in the main events, but all major cities feature beer gardens outside, and one quest requires traveling to each.

Since its creation, Oktoberfest has expanded to include an agricultural festival, horse racing event, a parade, and an official opening ceremony with the first keg-tapping by the incumbent Mayor. Horse racing has since been removed from actual Oktoberfest, but Brewfest incorporates these elements with reference to the previously mentioned "fermented fruits of the harvest," quests involving Ram Racing (no doubt in honor of the booze-loving dwarves, rather than human horse mounts), and a speech, followed by a keg-tapping at 6:15 AM and PM by Gelbin Mekkatorque or Vol'jin. Being present for this event rewards a 2 hour, 10% experience buff.

Brewmaiden! Beer me!
Only beer brewed within Munich city limits is allowed to be served at Oktoberfest, and one beer is chosen as the official Oktoberfest beer. These seasonal beers are unique in that they contain more sugar and have a higher alcohol content (from 5.8 to 6.3%) than typical beers. Over 30 breweries and other vendors set up tents to feature their fare during Oktoberfest, and we can similarly find Brewfest-only food and drink that will disappear after the holiday ends. Brewfest features 5 different breweries: Drohn's Distillery (orc), T'chali's Voodoo (troll), Barleybrew (dwarf), Thunderbrew (dwarf), and the neutral Gordok (ogre) Brew Vendors. Strangely, the Shatt'rath Brewfest tents have a neutral goblin who will sell Thunderbrew to Horde players, but the Drohn's vendor present will not sell to Alliance players. Ogre vendors will sell to both factions regardless of location.

Oktoberfest photos from here.
The Weisn area is populated with tents, 14 large and 20 small. To give you an idea, large tents can seat anywhere from 1000 to 8500 people inside, and up to 3500 outside. Small tents can seat up to 450 inside. Each has a unique atmosphere created by the music, food, drink, and special events that attracts patrons. Brewfest has no seating to speak of, but it is festively decorated with each distillery's tent and related keg, revelers of all races, and assorted tents for other food, drink, or quests. Players can use their commemorative beer stein to sample the distillery brew, even if it's technically a higher level. Of course, the penalty for this is immediate vomiting. Drinking from the kegs does not count for the related drink achievement. The kegs can be sampled by cross-faction players if you are so inclined. The distillery kegs are very important, not only because they provide samples, but also because they are frequently under attack from Dark Iron Dwarves!

That's right; the Dark Iron are still dwarves after all, and they can't stand to see the law-abiding Horde and Alliance citizens enjoying an alcohol-related festival without them. I wonder what Moira has to say about this? Anyway, every 30 minutes, they erupt from the ground in their dastardly mole machines and immediately begin an assault on the three supply kegs in the festival grounds. Players can fight back by grabbing mugs off the sample tables, chugging them (it's a sin to waste alcohol!), and chucking the empty mug into the fray. Don't worry, there's no need to aim or reload; revelers will helpfully toss you a refilled mug, and using the item in your bag will automatically drain it and chuck it at the nearest Dark Iron. The attackers have an incredibly irritating knockback, so try to stay out of the fray, unless of course you see a massive tankard on the ground! Walking over this will provide you with a buff, in which you spin uncontrollably and stun any Dark Iron you run into, making it easier for your comrades to pick them off from the sidelines. Fortunately, this is for game-related purposes only, as Oktoberfest has no intentional brawling or attacks.

This holiday awards a total of 11 achievements for 110 achievement points. WoW Insider and Wowhead have their very detailed and helpful guides up for this year, so get started early and start collecting tokens! Saz has a wonderful list of things you can win, buy, or otherwise hoard here. Bottoms up!

This article became so long that I split it into two!


  1. Only got a chance to skim read for now (On my phone), so will catch up again later!

    But the pictures sure get the right feeling of the Brewfest!

    - Jamin

  2. I love your world events posts Aka, they're always a great read!

  3. Thank you! I'm learning a lot from doing the research as well :D