O’ zapft is !

Inside the Hacker-Pschorr tent

..with those traditional words ( “It’s on tap!”) Munich’s mayor Christian Ude opened the 200th Oktoberfest last saturday.
For those of you who aren’t aware of the details: Oktoberfest isn’t only the biggest public festival or fair in the world attracting 6 Million visitors in 2 weeks (3 weekends), but it’s also the thirstiest festival in the world, serving 6,5 Million “Maß” during that time; in American measures that would be 1,7 Million Gallons – and we’re talking about beer only!

Wow, I’m myself always amazed at those figures! But once you’ve been there you get it. The festival has some kind of aura which lies in the mix of tradition and good beer.

In a certain way this event is the definition of an anti-tourist-trap: thousands of tourists come each year to observe Bavarians drinking beer while wearing their Lederhosn. But it is totally natural for a Bavarian to wear his Lederhosn on the Wiesn and not a made-up bluff. Also, Bavarians are very joyous and welcoming people, especially at Oktoberfest, and they love to celebrate their beer-nirvana with millions of visitors.

Certainly, beer prices are very high – hitting 8,30 Euro per Maß this year – which could make it a tourist ripp-off. But here again, it’s not a bluff: this is probably the best beer you can get on this planet. And this is for a reason: Every day breweries refill the tanks of the festival anew with beer coming directly from their lagering tanks which makes it the freshest beer served on the planet. This is a crucial quality factor: how long does your usual bottle of beer stand on the shelf before you open it? How long does a keg at your favorite pub wait in a backroom before being tapped?

A fresh Maß of Spaten

At Okoberfest you get the essence of a well-made and fresh beer! It is a Märzen style beer which makes it a bit higher in gravity and alcohol, but also more flavourful with stronger malt aroma. But despite being stronger it still appears fresh and easy to drink. Many visitors of the fest believe they could only drink 1 or 2 “Maß”, but end up drinking 4 or 5..

So if you haven’t been to Oktoberfest yet, you should definitely give it a try. By the way, the Oktoberfest Beers you can buy in stores all over the world don’t come close to the real stuff tapped on site! Prost!

Paulaner Tower

Coupon for a Beer at the Ochsenbraterei tent

One Response to “O’ zapft is !”

  1. I am sold after reading your description of the Oktoberfest 🙂 it is now on my next year travel plan…

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