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Oktoberfest Beer: A Drinking Guide
Perhaps you’ve heard of Munich’s Oktoberfest – it’s only the biggest and best beer festival in the world. Fourteen beer tents and six million people drinking more than seven million litres of beer (this stat is unimpressive, considering that at our campsite alone last year, with 8000 travellers went through 120,000 litres…). They serve the best beer in the world, brewed according to German Purity Laws, which attracts beer lovers and party animals alike. And where there’s alcohol, you’ll find Stoke Travel in the middle of it all, beer funnel at the ready and unlimited wine and beer on tap. So, from the self-proclaimed Oktoberfest experts, here is a drinking guide to getting appropriately festive at Oktoberfest.
It Pays to Pre-Game Hard For Oktoberfest
If you don’t pre-drink for Oktoberfest, what are you even doing? Beers are expensive, 12 euros a Maß (pronounced mah-ss) to be exact. Not to mention that the percentage in German beer is unusually high, so one mass, which is one litre of beer, will be enough to keep you adequately tipsy throughout the day. You can pre-drink at our campsite, where you can get unlimited beer and wine for 10 euros. But pace yo’self fool, you don’t want to pass out before you reach the beer tents, we’ll tease you endlessly and you’ll earn yourself a trip to Puke Hill
how much is a beer at oktoberfest?
Short answer: not cheap. Despite beer being like water in Germany, in terms of availability, amount imbibed and price, Oktoberfest beers come in a little more expensive than regular German beers. In 2019 Oktoberfest beers ranged from €11.40 (Augustiner-Festhalle) to €11.80 (Bräurosl, Hacker-Festzelt, Löwenbräu-Festzelt, Paulaner-Festzelt). Coming in at €11.70 was the ever popular Hofbräuhaus-Festzelt. Also, don’t forget to tip! That is, if you want to be served again.
What is so special about Oktoberfest beers?
These are not just ordinary run-of-the-mill, regular Joe beers. Oh no, these are a deadly and delicious combination of Munich’s six favourite breweries. They’re more delicious and way stronger than what you’re used to. One drink will get you buzzed, two drinks will get you chatting up the barman/maid, three drinks and you’ll be dancing on the tables, and by the fourth, you’re well into peeing on yourself territory, and you might be seeing those bratwursts that you ate earlier.
The beer is what makes the festival and they definitely live up to their reputation. The alcohol content is higher, so it’s a guaranteed good time in an oversized not-so-novelty glass. The beers may be lethal but you won’t be experiencing your typical hangover the next day (no promises though). The German Purity Laws mean that the beers are clean, no bad crap in it that will make you feel icky the next morning. (But we reckon if you’re not hungover or at least still drunk the next day, you didn’t go hard enough.)
Which beers are available at Oktoberfest?
The Bavarians are very particular about the beers served at Oktoberfest – they all have to be brewed within the city’s limits, which is difficult as the brands expand and space is scarce in the city, and obviously have to obey Germany beer purity laws, so only water, barley, hops and malt is allowed in the brew. And all the beers at Oktoberfest have their own tent devoted to that particular brew, so look for the name of the beer you want to try, and get in there! The Munich Oktoberfest beers are, with alcohol percentage in brackets:
- Augustiner (6.0%)
- Hacker Pschorr (5.8%)
- Löwenbräu (6.1%)
- Spatenbräu (5.9%)
- Paulaner (6.0%)
- Hofbräu (6.3%)
Which beer is the best Oktoberfest beer?
Well this is going to be a matter of personal taste, for sure. Most Stokies find themselves going to the Löwenbräu, or Hoffbräu tents, so you could maybe infer that they find those brands of Oktoberfest beer to be the best, but the reality is that they are generally the friendlier beer halls for foreigners. We really recommend that you get around those halls and taste as many different beers as you can, because many of our local suppliers love Augustiner, and others are Paulaner people, and even Hacker Pschorr and Spatenbräu have their acolytes. The reality is that the best Oktoberfest beer is the one in your hand, so enjoy!
Do you have to drink beer? Can you drink anything else at oktoberfest?
Even if you’re not a beer lover, we’d still recommend at least trying the beer, just to say you’ve done it. It is Oktoberfest after all, and you may have tried beer in your home country, but never authentic German beer. But if you’re still not a keen bean, here are some other options to wet your whistle.
- There’s Wine At Oktoberfest?
You can still go to Oktoberfest and not drink beer, you might get a few funny looks though. There’s a wine tent, and it ain’t cheap, but what at Oktoberfest is? Glasses of wine starting at around 12 euros is enough to clean out that wallet.
- What Exactly Is A Radler?
What we would call a “shandy” or “a weak as piss beer”. It’s basically beer and lemonade which makes for a refreshing bevvie, but won’t do much for you in the “getting smashed” department.
- Start The Day With Irish Coffee
Some of the tents are famous for their strong Irish Coffee that will leave you feeling lucky like the Irish. Other spirits and schnapps are of course at your disposal.
What’s Oktoberfest like?
Mental/expensive/rowdy/a cultural experience like no other. It’s not just a bunch of drunk people spewing by the tents and downing one-litre pints in 15 seconds. I mean, it kind of is, but it’s also an insight to German culture, and where people from all over the world can come together over a bevvie and a bratwurst.
The lines to Oktoberfest can be extensive and waiting for a long time with hundreds of people can make you grumpy. But when you finally get into the hall, and get served that first delicious beer, you’ll be having the time of your life. It’s important to note that you won’t get served beer unless you’re sitting at a table. People will usually sidle up the benches to let you in, now that’s how friendships are made!
There’s traditional Bavarian music at each beer tent that will have you and your group singing merrily and completely out of tune. Sometimes you can spend the whole day in just one tent because you’re having such a good time. Time really does fly when you’re off your face.
And Finally, Finish the Festivities With a Visit to Puke Hill
So this isn’t an “official” puke hill, but it’s what the locals have decided is a place for a good ol’ fashioned tack yack. You’ll see heaps of drunk people in lederhosen stumbling up said hill to relieve themselves so they can smash back another mass of that deadly brew. During the rest of the year, it’s actually a beautiful little park, but come festival season it’s the perfect place for die Bierleichen, which literally means “beer corpses”, to take a quick break before stumbling back into the tents.
So that was our insider, not so responsible, please-don’t-show-your-mum-this guide to getting wrecked at Oktoberfest. Join us on our epic Stoketober camping grounds to get even more loose at our after-party, and knock back a few cold ones at our open bar.
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