Of the six Munich breweries that are allowed to operate at Oktoberfest, Augustiner is the oldest. In commemoration of this, the Augustiner Festzelt is the only Oktoberfest beer tent that still serves its beer from traditional wooden kegs.
The Augustiner brewery was founded in 1328 by the Augustinian monks who began brewing the stuff in their monastery near the center of Munich. Thirteen twenty-eight! These monks brewed their beer at their monastery and sold it in the monastery tavern for almost 500 years — now it’s sold to us, 8,000 at a time, inside a larger-than-life Oktoberfest beer tent. The “JW” in the Augustiner logo are the initials of former Augustiner manager Joseph Wagner who was also a founding member of the Bavarian Beer Alliance–the club we all wish we were members of.
An interesting fact is that the wooden beer kegs are stored in the tall tower that’s part of the tent, with a mechanism built into it that lowers the full kegs and takes the empty ones to the top throughout the day. German engineering at its finest.
The Augustiner Festzelt was added to the Oktoberfest roster in 1903 when the people in charge (we’re guessing they weren’t monks) built a large structure in the style of a castle complete with its own massive Augustiner tower. The beer tent you can experience today is still built in the same style as the original.
Today, the Augustiner beer tent is also known as the “friendliest” of all beer tents—with a staff that never stops smiling, and a couple of family days throughout the event. During these “family days”, beer and food prices are lowered soooo maybe pretend like you’re a parent for the day? We bet you’ve never heard that piece of Oktoberfest advice before.
With room for around 8500 people, the Augustiner tent is one of the biggest. They serve, well, Augustiner beer, obviously, and a large menu of traditional Bavarian food.
Capacity: Inside: 6000, outside: 2500, total: 8500
Proprietors: Manfred and Thomas Vollmer