University of South Florida St. Petersburg



Inaugural Bulls and Brews by the Bay to raise funds for student scholarships

Bulls  & Brews by the Bay promotional logo

Put on your lederhosen or dirndl and best German attire for USF's first Okto-BULL-fest!

By Sarah Sell, University Communications and Marketing

Get ready to celebrate a Bavarian-style October with USF St. Petersburg's first-ever Bulls and Brews by the Bay event. Also called "Okto-BULL-fest," the fundraiser will raise money for the St. Petersburg campus general scholarship fund, which provides much-needed financial assistance to students at the beginning of each academic year.

The event will be held along the campus's scenic waterfront from 4 - 7 p.m. on October 20.

Sponsored by USF Federal Credit Union, the inaugural event will feature an array of craft beer from local breweries, non-alcoholic options and a traditional German menu. The fare will include sausage with bacon and apple sauerkraut, beer bratwurst, schnitzel, spaetzle, pretzels, apple strudel and more. Guests can enjoy live music from the Ocean Road Band, giveaways throughout the night and everyone in attendance will receive a commemorative t-shirt and German Stein. 

Picture of pretzels and beer

"We haven't had an event this size since our 50th-anniversary celebration eight years ago," said Howard Rutherford, associate vice president of development for University Advancement. "It's a good reason to come back, show your affinity for our campus and feel like you are supporting a Bull."

The event will help solve the increasing need for general scholarships on the St. Petersburg campus. Rutherford said the demand has gone up, but the USFSP Scholarship Fund has not. For example, the USF St. Petersburg campus had 132 applications for the 2023-24 academic year but could only award $1,000 to five students. The scholarships are available to full or part-time students at all academic levels pursuing any major on the USF St. Petersburg campus.

"Bulls and Brews by the Bay will provide a tremendous opportunity for the USF St. Petersburg family to come together and raise support for critical student scholarships while having a fun time doing so. It's a win-win in so many ways," said USF St. Petersburg Regional Chancellor Christian Hardigree.

Some of those USF graduates include the owners and brewers from several St. Petersburg area breweries who donated craft beer in honor of USF's Brewing Arts Program, which is based on the St. Petersburg campus. They include 3 Daughters, Green Bench, Bayboro and Mastry's Brewing, as well as Grand Central Brewhouse, which will craft a new brew using a recipe from USF students. Great Bay Distributors, one of the program's founding members, is also donating beverage trailers, wine and non-alcoholic beverages for the event.

In addition to the support from USF Federal Credit Union, which donated $25,000, the Bank of Tampa is the official alumni sponsor with a $10,000 donation, and The Beck Group came forward with a $5,000 gift. Sponsorships are still available for the event.

Tickets for Bulls and Brews by the Bay are $100 for USF students, staff, faculty and alumni and $125 for general admission. Everything is included in the price, and proceeds from ticket sales go directly into the scholarship fund. 

"Not all of us can do a $5,000-$10,000 scholarship donation, so this is a way for us to create something that can help a student and be part of something bigger than ourselves," Rutherford said. "It will be a fun-filled environment with great food and drink that people will want to return to every year."

You can buy tickets to the event, become a sponsor or make a separate donation here.

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