Your scribe has just returned from Germany with a visit to this year’s “simply zest for life” Oktoberfest (www.oktoberfest.de) held in Munich. This event goes way back for me attending my first one in 1963 held in the downtown historic Hofbrauhaus am Platz built in 1589 with traditional “Gemutlichkeit” as “the cradle of Bavarian tavern culture”. It was a much smaller fun event then with great beer served in ceramic mugs or steins hand engraved at much cheaper prices. They have souvenir ones for sale there today but lesser versions for 40 Euros each. Oktoberfest has changed over the long history and is now a massive Carnival Festival (including fairground wild rides) held with free admission further out in an area known as “The Wiesn” (Meadow) or Theresienwiese. This year celebrated the 187th edition with “O’zapft is!” (the barrel is tapped) opening September 17 running to October 3. Beer Gardens in many tents with only The Big 6 Breweries allowed to serve their special pure beers (now in litre sized dimpled glass steins called “Mass” with a higher about 6 abv) are Augustiner, Hacker-Pschor, Lowenbrau, Paulener, Spaten, and Hofbrauhaus at varying prices but mainly around 13.50 Euros. We were in the Schottenhamel Festhalle this visit. The dress code is unique with men in lederhosen and women in dirndl with signals to be drawn by how you tie and place your bow: Left side for Single, Centre for Maiden, and Right for Married, Engaged, or Taken. Very crowded indoor scene with lots of cheering, singing and even dancing while standing on benches so I was pleased to avoid catching Covid. Surprised at the still high quality of the food available – especially those delicious roasted chickens paired with beer!
A fun beer & food destination event for you to consider on a future European tour of Europe held during late September each year.
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