CONSIDER US YOUR OKTOBERFEST WIKIPEDIA PAGE, BUT BETTER, BECAUSE BEER
LET'S START WITH THE BASIC FACTS...
You do know it takes place in Germany, right...?
Oktoberfest didn’t actually originate as a beer festival! The 1810 wedding celebration of the crowned prince (and future king) of Bavaria is considered the inaugural festival. It lasted over 2 weeks, which is why the Oktoberfest we know and love today spans 16-18 days.
Don't second guess it, Oktoberfest really doesn’t begin in October! It starts in September, the same time Zümfest started…hmm...coincidence? Obviously not! Blue Point Brewing Company and Spaten Brewing would not stand by and let the true tradition go uncelebrated!
For those of you beer nerds who are also real nerds, here’s some more facts about “Wiesn” (That’s what Germans call Oktoberfest; "wiesn" means “Meadow,” which is a reference to the fairgrounds the festival lives on in Germany). Don't cheat! How many people do you think come to Oktoberfest in Munich? Keep reading until the end to find out...
It doesn't stop at Lederhosen and feathered hats!
Curious what to wear when you arrive?
You know that old saying, “dress for the job you want” - well Oktoberfest is more so, “dress for the amount of fun you want to have.” Your attire is directly related to how much you’ll enjoy the festival.
Comfortable shoes are a must, backpacks are a no go. If you want to go the extra mile, be sure to wear a “trachten” shirt under your lederhosen (that’s the traditional blue checkered shirt), gents.
Ladies, where you tie your bow on your dirndl (traditional female outfit) is extremely important. If you tie your bow on the right side, you’re taken. Left side means you’re single, and a bow in the middle of your waist means you’re a virgin… we encourage you to tie a bow on all sides to keep an air of mystery. Hm, what happens if you wear a bow on your stein?
Before things get too in-tents...
Here's info on some of the popular tents at the fest!
Hacker-Festhalle – The ceiling of this tent is painted like the blue sky. If the weather is nice, the roof can open to let the sunshine in!
Schottenhamel – The oldest tent at Oktoberfest has the capacity to house over 10,000 people. It’s where the party gets started and has remained very popular with Germans through the centuries.
Winzerer Fähndl – With room for 11,000 partygoers this is the largest tent at Oktoberfest. You’ll be able to recognize it by the giant rotating beer glass...Although we think we've seen these after a few Imperial Sunshines at our pub.
The Käfer’s Wies’n-Schänke tent is the only tent open until 1am, so everyone rushes there after the others shut down. Don’t be late, you won't want to miss any of the fest!
Want to Learn Even More?
Well, it couldn't be a fun Oktoberfest without it...
It couldn't be Oktoberfest without Beer!
Annually around 7 million people come to the Munich festival, and in 2019 nearly 2 million gallons of beer were consumed. The beer served at Oktoberfest must be beer brewed within the city limits of Munich and Bavarian purity standards allow only 3 ingredients to be used while brewing the beer for the festival: water, barley and hops.
The brews are pretty strong, so it's important to pace yourself! If not you will likely be called a “Bierleichen” (literally a beer corpse) and end up on the Kotzhügel (puke hill).
It's important to know that no one can drink until the mayor says so. Since 1950, the festival can start after the official gun salute and the mayor shouting O’ zapft is! (“It’s tapped!”) The first mug goes to the Minster-President of the State of Bavaria and then it's your turn to have a stein.