The Beer Drinking Law of Oktoberfest
As with the greatest of celebration of anything in life, there are rules. The strict regulations on what is served at Oktoberfest come down from the German Brewers Federation. Beers must contain only malted barley (contains gluten), yeast, hops, and water.
Originating in 1487 and enacted as law all the way back in 1516, this ‘purity law’ (in German: Reinheitsgebot) might seem harsh at first glance but it ensured set quality standards and protected the industry. If not for Munich’s six premier breweries – Paulaner, Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Spaten, Löwenbräu and Hofbräu the beer-lovers festival would not be what we know it as today!
For The Beer-Loving Aficionado
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the choices of beer on tap at Oktoberfest and if it’s your first time in Germany, you might be wondering where to start. Each of the six breweries differs in their conditioning and approach when it comes to making beer. Their range of Bavarian beverages hits everyone’s palette slightly different and you’re likely to lean towards some more than others.
This flagship beer is a full bodied, dark wheat lager appreciated for its subtlety and fruity aftertaste though it is the weakest of the beers you’ll find available.
The brewery’s Edelstoff is often hailed as Munich’s best beer. The secret to this pale, rich, soft and malty beer might be derived from the company’s private well 700 feet underground.
Perhaps best known best for its Edehell Export, a rich, dry and slightly bitter beer, a Hacker-Pschorr beer is fermented three times longer than the standard for a bolder taste.
Most notable for making beer history when first introduced in the Shottenhamel tent at the 1872 Oktoberfest, their amber Märzen-style Pils and Oktoberfestbier are local favourites.
Nicknamed the Wiesenbier, the famous export was the first to cross Bavarian borders and is now known the world over as an all-round crowd pleaser. Keep in mind it has a higher than average alcohol content than most so you’ll have to pace yourself.
Award winning and brewed from the Einbeck recipe for nobles of the royal court, it is a light beer widely popular with international visitors.
Oktoberfest stays true to its founding principles and retains its cultural heritage so no matter what you choose, you’ll be supporting an almost 200 year long tradition. And with more than 6 million people drinking more than 6 million litres of beer, you just know there’ll be something for everyone.
What’s Your Preference?
If it’s your first trip into the beer tents your best bet might be to sample a bit of everything before your settle for one. Not every beer tent will serve every type of beer so you’ll have to make the rounds yourself – nothing like a good old fashioned pub crawl – but the trips will be well worth it.
When you leave the table remember that tents fill up fast and you may end up waiting at the next so when you do finally manage to get to a seat, make sure you take the time to savour every last drop!
Thirsty for some of the best beer in the world? Join us in the beer tents in Bavaria!