The official Oktoberfest, Munich may be cancelled this year, but it doesn’t mean you can’t find your own way of celebrating. With that in mind we thought we’d give you a roundup of everything you need to know to hold your very own Oktoberfest!
Oktoberfest is the biggest beer festival in the world, and is usually held every year, running from mid or late September to the first Sunday in October. The original Oktoberfest took place in 1810, to celebrate a wedding between the crown prince Ludwig and his Teresa and so they held a royal horse race. The event took place on a meadow (Weise in German) named after the princess and the meadow still has this name today, Theresienwiese.
By the end of the 19th century, the first beer halls and carousels were erected and today the site covers an area of 42 hectares. It now hosts 16 large tents and 21 smaller tents, offering 120,000 seats at any one time and every year has around 6 million visitors. Oktoberfest runs its very own post office, has a permanent police station and during the festival a miniature hospital is built including an operating theatre. Their lost and found office collects around 3000 items every year, and has included - wedding bands, passports and strangely 3 sets of false teeth. To put into context just how big Oktoberfest is, it’s about the size of 52 football pitches!
The Paulaner tent has a capacity for 8450 people and has 5 beer stations serving beer at a speed of 1, one-litre stein known as a Mass, in just 3 seconds! They serve around, 85 calves, 116 oxen, 59,000 pork knuckles, 120,000 sausages and 510,000 chickens every year! We couldn’t even get an estimate on the number of pretzels served, but you can imagine!
Märzen was the original beer served at the Oktoberfest, named after the month of March, when it would be brewed and is usually stronger than normal beer. Tradition became regulation and all Oktoberfest beers must be comprised of 13.5 to 13.99 percent original wort extract.
So why was it made so strong? It’s simple.
In earlier days, the last beer had to be brewed before summer. This was because simmering the beer was a fire hazard and trying to store the beer at temperatures below 10 degrees just couldn’t be maintained during summer. So, in order to keep the beer preserved until autumn it was brewed stronger.
The introduction of new technology has enabled beer makers to brew other types of beer that would keep over the summer months. This development markedly changed beer consumption and over time Oktoberfest Märzen beer was replaced by todays Wiesn beer.
At the Munich Oktoberfest only beer from one of the 6 Munich traditional breweries can be served and Paulaner and Hacker Pschorr are 2 of those 6. These 6 breweries all conform to the Reinheitsgebot, a series of regulations limiting the ingredients allowed in German beers dating back to 1516 and must be brewed within the city limits of Munich. So, make sure you are drinking an original!
The original Paulaner Oktoberfest Bier has been brewed every year since 1818, with the process timed precisely to ensure that the beer is perfectly matured for the Oktoberfest period. Paulaner Oktoberfest is the most popular Oktoberfest beer in Germany and the top-selling beer at the Munich Oktoberfest itself.
So, what makes Paulaner Oktoberfest beer so good?
To make their Oktoberfest beer they take only natural ingredients from the region. Using 10,000-year-old pure water from their deep well, they blend their own Paulaner strain of yeast with selected hops and malt types to create the delicious, full-bodied taste they are well known for. The hops used are Herkules, Taurus and Hallertauer Tradition, and the malt types are Munchner Malz (dark barley malt) and Pilsener Malz (light barley malt).
60% of the total beer share at the festival only goes to show the respect and love those attending the festival have for the Paulaner Oktoberfest beer!
So now you know the history here’s how you can make your Oktoberfest feel authentic.
Glossary of words you need to know!
Meaning and Use
|To be shouted right after the tapping of the first beer keg and means “the barrel is open” or ‘it is tapped’!
|Servus basically means “Hello”, then you can converse.
Oa Bia is good, zwoa bia is better.
“One beer” or “Two beer”?
|“One Litre Mug.” Thick walled, typically dimpled glass stein.
Prrost – rolled r!
|“Cheers!” Follow with a clink.
|“Please.” – ensure you use it!
|“To your health!”
Lass uns einen toast machen
Læs Ʊns aɪn tɔ:st 'max(Ə)n
Lass uns ayn terst mahan
|“Lets make a toast!”
How to dress for the occasion!
A traditional Barvarian outfit usually worn by women, comprising of a blouse an apron, a jacket, and the dirndl skirt. The Drindl must be quite tight so that no folds occur. And by the way: Bows on the left side mean – single, flirting allowed, bows on the right-side mean – the woman is in a committed relationship so no flirting please.
A traditional Bavarian outfit usually worn by men, comprising of …. Socks, Haferlschuh – traditional Bavarian shoes, a shirt, and a vest. You can choose whether to wear with or without a hat – we’ll leave that down to your own taste!
Make it feel like you’re there.
Get a big long table to gather your friends around and pick your theme. Every tent at the festival is different, they choose different colours and themes and they go all out. The Hacker-Festhalle is also known as Bavarian Heaven and they cover the ceiling in blue sky and clouds! You could even have a go at recreating an Oktoberfest wreath. And don’t forget the Bavarian coat of arms lends its diamond pattern of blue and white to the decorations too!
They get your steins ready and your strength, the waiters and waitresses at the festival can carry a lot of beer. The current record stands at 25 Mass totalling 57.1kg!
Get a chicken in the oven, some pork knuckles if you are feeling fancy and start with some pretzels on the table. Finally, make sure you have your playlist ready to go. You will need that Oompah band loud and proud but don’t think it’s all traditional, you’ll be sure to hear some Abba, Elton, Neil Diamond and usually a rousing rendition of Robbie Williams’ Angels!
And you are ready to go… all you need to do now, is make sure you have the beer to match!
How to get involved with Paulaner’s Virtual Oktoberfest!
Although the physical festival won’t be taking place, Paulaner are holding a digital one instead.
So be sure to take pictures and tag them #ShareYourProst and #PaulanerOktoberfest.
Try their effects and GIFs on Instagram. Join their Facebook group to connect with people all around the world celebrating just like you!
Play their Spotify Playlist to get you in the spirit.
You can even have their Oktoberfest tent as your Zoom background!