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Busch Gardens extends free summer beer offerings through Aug. 24

 
Tampa City councilman Luis Viera, CEO of Visit Tampa Bay Santiago Corrada, VP of Culinary operations Jim Messinger, Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Busch Gardens president Stewart Clark toast at the new Brew Club at Busch Gardens on April 30, 2018 in Tampa, Fla. MONICA HERNDON   |   Times
Tampa City councilman Luis Viera, CEO of Visit Tampa Bay Santiago Corrada, VP of Culinary operations Jim Messinger, Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Busch Gardens president Stewart Clark toast at the new Brew Club at Busch Gardens on April 30, 2018 in Tampa, Fla. MONICA HERNDON | Times
Published July 30, 2018

TAMPA — Busch Gardens visitors can look forward to quenching their thirst at the Garden Gate Café for a few more weeks this summer.

The park announced Thursday that it's extending the free-beer-for-park-guests program it initiated in May. The program, offering guests over the age of 21 two free 7-ounce pours of select beer, was expected to end Aug. 5, but will now go through Aug. 24, park officials said.

Park officials said the move is a return to its roots. From the park's 1959 opening until 2009, Anheuser-Busch beer samples were offered in the park's Hospitality House, now known as the Garden Gate Café. There was even a time when employees were allowed two cases of free Budweiser beer per month. The sample program was suspended in 2009 when the Blackstone Group, which bought Busch Gardens and SeaWorld, announced it was turning the Hospitality House into a full-service restaurant.

PREVIOUS STORY: Free beer is back this summer for Busch Gardens visitors

After nearly 10 years of pay-only pours, the park announced in April it'd offer free beer for a limited time during the summer.

According to a release from Busch Gardens, it'll continue to celebrate beer with Bier Fest at Busch Gardens, running weekends from Aug. 25 through Sept. 16. The new festival will incorporate Tampa's craft beer scene with beers from more than 100 breweries around the world and feature special food offerings and live entertainment.

More information on the free beer program and Bier Fest can be found at the Busch Gardens website.

Daniel Figueroa IV can be reached at dfigueroa@tampabay.com. Follow @danuscripts