This rotten Covid-19 already forced the annual Wine in the Wilderness at the Utica Zoo to go virtual. The least it can do is give us the Utica Zoo Brewfest. Our fingers are crossed and we've rubbed the Red Panda's heads for good luck in hopes the annual event can return On August 1.

The plan is for the 22nd edition of the Utica Zoo Brewfest to be back August 1 from 6 pm-9 pm. As usual, there will be plenty of beverages to sample with more than 120 different beers, ciders, seltzers, and malt beverages to choose. And it wouldn't be a Zoo event without the tasty wine-slushies. Non alcohol fans and designated drivers will be provided complimentary water and soda.

Brewfest isn't just about the beverages, there are other things to do, including live music, a silent auction, and of course lots of zoo animals and presentations. Zoo Hours for that day will be 10 am to 1 pm, followed by reopening for Brewfest 6 pm. At that point, it becomes 21 and over and attendees must have a ticket and photo ID to enter. Tickets include a pint glass, beer, cider, and wine samples, admission to the zoo, live music, and food samples. Here some specifics:

Ticket Prices:

General Admission: $40 in advance and $45 at the door
Utica Zoo Members: $35 in advance and $40 at the door.
Designated Drivers: $25 in advance and at the door.
Ticket prices subject to change.

Parking:

Free parking is available at the Utica Zoo on a first come first served basis, with overflow parking at MVCC Payne Hall Lot and the Parkway Rec Center. Free shuttle buses will take you to and from the zoo. Ride share, such as Uber, Lyft, local taxi companies, or private drop off are encouraged. All ride share vehicles will be permitted to drop off and pick up attendees at the gate.

Tickets will be available online through Eventbrite or at the Utica Zoo Gift Shop. Other ticket locations will be announced at a future date. Get a list of breweries, vendors, and more information at the Utica Zoo's Facebook page.