Countless people have heard of the Oktoberfest celebrations the world over. This is not all that surprising when you consider the fact that most major capital cities now host their own versions of the beer-drinker’s paradise.
While the flavour of each Oktoberfest is undoubtedly different there is one festival that has only gotten bigger and better over its 205-year history – the original Oktoberfest in Munich. If you’ve never been, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about.
Fun Fact #1 – Stronger Beer
Made the German way, the lager or Märzenbier on tap at Oktoberfest is slightly stronger than elsewhere in the world. It boasts an alcohol level of 6-7 % and you’ll generally find a different variety of beer available at each tent selling from between 6€ to 11€.
Fun Fact #2 – Carnival Attractions
Over the years Oktoberfest has grown from its humble beginnings and now includes an array of carnival rides including roller coasters and merry-go-rounds. The atmosphere inside and outside the tents is family friendly so feel free to bring the kids, although they need too be at least 16 years old to drink alcohol.
Fun Fact #3 – Bavarian Breweries
There are six breweries in Germany that supply beer to Oktoberfest (Paulaner, Löwenbräu, Augustinerbräu, Hofbräuhaus, Hacker-Pschorr and Spaten) and they all adhere strictly to the Reinheitsgebot, a purity law that ensures consistent and full-flavoured beer.
Fun Fact #4 – Beer Heaven
Every year more than 5 million people attend Oktoberfest in Munich and spend upwards of 1.3€ billion on food and beer. Attendees will consume 6 million litres of beer over the 16-day festival – that’s an average of 1.2 litres per person and enough to fill three Olympic size swimming pools!
Fun Fact #5 – Hangover Happiness
The Red Cross has organised 15 beds to help people in case they need to sleep off a hangover. While that may not seem like many for the 7,000 visitors the tent receives each year for treatment, some are definitely better than none.
Fun Fact #6 – Ten Thousand to a Tent
Oktoberfest is so popular with locals and tourists that they must all squeeze into the limited space of beers tents thousands at a time. This makes the greens of Theresienwiese the most significant cultural melting pot between late September and early October every year.
Fun Fact #7 – Fabulous Food
While the festival has become synonymous with world-class beer it has also become famous for the sheer amount and variety of Oktoberfest food on offer. You’ll find more types sausage than you could ever hope to pronounce or eat and much more besides. Everything from schweinsbraten (roast pork), hendl (roast chicken), brezn (pretzels), knodeln (potato or bread dumplings), sauerkraut and many other fan favourites will be served.
Oktoberfest is a must if you’re travelling to Bavaria towards the end of 2016. We would like to say that Oktoberfest is a once in a lifetime experience however most attendees find that after they’ve been once, the round-trip becomes an annual event.