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Busch Gardens Brings Back Free Beer Samples

People who visited Busch Gardens in Tampa over a decade ago might remember receiving free samples of beer.

That program was discontinued in 2009 after then-owner Anheuser-Busch sold the theme park and its sibling park, SeaWorld, to the Blackstone Group.

Now the brews are back as park officials announced Monday that visitors age 21 and up can receive two complimentary seven ounce beers per visit from May 1 through August 5.

In addition, there's a a new Beer Gardens Brew Club program where members can buy a reserved beer stein for $79 that's put on display. They then get $5 refills of more than 20 beers all yearlong.

Credit Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens' Hospitality House, seen in this historical photo, has been named the Garden Gate Café, and will once again be the place visitors to the Tampa theme park can get complimentary beer samples.

The beer can be found in the same place it's always been -- but the Hospitality House has been rebranded as the Garden Gate Café.

And drinkers will not just find Anheuser-Busch products -- the taps will change throughout the summer, with such beers as Bud Light, Founders All Day IPA, MIA 305 Golden Ale, Miller Light, Shock Top and Yuengling being featured.  Corona is the first highlighted beer with Cinco de Mayo coming up.

Busch Gardens will also host an Oktoberfest-themed festival August 25 through September 16 with more than 100 beers from local and global breweries.

Company officials did not say if the return of the free samples will be permanent.

Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.
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