Prost! Who is game to sink a few steins, wear a lederhosen or dirndl, and eat their weight in pretzels? We are! Oktoberfest, essentially an adults Disneyland is the world’s largest beer festival. Held annually in Munich, Germany, it is a 16-day festival running from mid-September to the first weekend in October and it is a place not to be missed whilst visiting Europe! It is estimated that over 6 million people visit Oktoberfest and serve more than 6 million litres of beer every year – staggering numbers, right?
So with it just being around the corner, here are some tips on how to survive Oktoberfest.
Due to the fact that you’ll be drinking copious amounts of beer, it is vital that you also take time to stuff your face with food, and the food at Oktoberfest is absolutely delicious! With there being a wide variety of traditional food including roast chicken, roast pork, grilled ham hock, varieties of sausage and pretzels, you’re spoiled for choice with the food available. Don’t be that person who quotes “eating is cheating” as you’ll be the one in bed by 3pm – Not cool!
The only beer that is permitted to be called Oktoberfest beer is the beer that is prepared in the Munich area. Customarily, the beer is the surplus summer beer and is brewed in March of each year. This means that the beer is only about 4 months old and is very high in alcohol content ranging from 5.8% – 6.3%. So pace yourself people, the beer goes straight to your brain.
The Oktoberfest visitor does not have it easy. There are 14 tents to choose from each with a different feel. Each tent is decorated differently, serve their own type of beer (obviously), some tents have a friendly and relaxed vibe whilst other have a noticeably younger more rowdy atmosphere. Whatever tent you choose to go to be prepared to sink the steins and sing yourself hoarse.
The tents get ridiculously busy, particularly on the weekends. But don’t fret, wedging next to a group of random people is all part of the fun and before you know it you’ll be swinging alongside each other and dancing on the tables like best buds.
To get quicker service and for the barmaid to favour you, make sure you tip them. A stein on average is around €9 however, make sure you always give the barmaid a few euros more each time in order to get in their good books! Happy barmaid = happy beer drinker.
There is no rest for the wicked at Oktoberfest. If you want a seat in one of the tents, then that means getting there early, around 8am early! In the weekends the tents fill up so quickly that being proactive and getting there in the early hours means that you’re pretty much guaranteed a seat. If you feel a sleep in is more important than the beer festivities, then expect be waiting outside for potentially hours.