Oktoberfest Opens in Munich

By Christian Stampfer on 22 September 2014
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MUNICH—The 181st Oktoberfest opened Saturday in Munich as Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter tapped the first keg.  With the words “O’zapft is” (it’s tapped) and a 12-gun salute, the world famous event, which celebrates Bavarian culture, began.

Munich expects over six million visitors to Oktoberfest, which will run through October 5, and nearly seven million Maß (literally a measure but also a liter) of beer will be served.

The cost of a Maß rose to over €10 (it was a mere €9.20 in 2011).

The famous tents only serve beer brewed in Munich.  Oktoberfest beer has 5.8% to 6.3% alcohol and a high sugar content compared to 5.2% alcohol and low sugar content in non-Oktoberfest German beer.

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The tradition extends beyond beer.  Visitors will enjoy a selection of traditional Bavarian foods including Hendl (chicken), Würstl (sausages), Brezn (pretzels), Steckerlfisch (grilled fish on a stick), Knödel (dumpling), and Bavarian specialties including Obatzda (a spiced cheese spread) and Weißwurst (veal sausage).

Oktoberfest traces its origins back to the marriage celebration of King Ludwig I of Bavaria and Princess Theresa on October 12, 1810.  The event has since moved to mid-September to take advantage of better weather.

It takes place at the Theresienwiese, which is easily accessible by the public transportation via U-Bahn (metro) U-4 or U-5 directly to the Wiesn as the venue, which in English is the Therese meadow named after King Ludwig’s bridge, is known, or via the S-Bahn to the Donnersbergerbrücke station.

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