Eien Prosit Von Oktoberfet!
(Cheers from Octoberfest)
On Sept. 23rd my wife Samantha and I boarded a plane bound for München (Munich) Germany via Chicago for a 1 week Beerventure: Oktoberfest! It’s a party on a grand scale and one like no other in the world. Samantha and I had planned this trip for quite a few years and saved the money to do so.
In this blog I’m going to outline a few things to know if you’re going to go, and since we we’re talking about money let’s start with tip #1. It isn’t cheap and you’ll need CASH; lots of it! (you’ll spend more than you’ll anticipate, so plan accordingly). You can go one of two (well three) routes a cash exchange, or pull cash out of cash machines (and use a credit card where accepted).
The beer tents take only cash and the cash machines outside are usually a hot item so plan ahead and get cash before you show up to the theresienwiese (Festival Grounds).
My wife and I spent a week in Munich and tip #2 would be PACE YOURSELF. Sam and I had originally set out to attend the Festival for 3 days but after day 1 we needed a break. We took a day off and then came back the following day. You need to PACE YOURSELF in the tents as well beer is sold by the 1L Maß (pronounced [ˈmaːs] or mass) you can get a ½ L if you order a Hefe. Or you can Order a Radler , The beer is a golden FestBier style (about 6% ABV) and is the same style at all of the tents.(don’t Expect a dark Märzen)
Tip #4 Biergartens Of Munich
These are the gold that exists in Munich Year round, I would not take a trip to Munich without visiting at least one Top Biergarten. In Munich I would recommend Augustiner Keller and the Chinieser Turm (Chinese Tower) in Englischer Garten (English Garden). These have beer hall seating rules with some spaces reserved for regulars. If nobody talks to you you’re sitting in the wrong spot. Also Hofbrauhaus is a Hot spot for parting and nightlife.
Its hard to pace yourself without a little sustenance to offset the volumes of Beer consumed. All the food available (both at the tents and in the biergartens) is world class. half chickens (hendel), sausage (wurst) and Pretzels are the norm. Try it all, trust me you won’t regret it!
Tip #6 Beeristory (beer history)
The oldest active brewery on record Weihenstephan is located in Freising Just to the north of Munich and is a simple train and bus ride away and is well worth the trip if to only enjoy the biergarten. Interestingly we were not allowed in the fermentation room due to a sensor telling us of the dangerous levels of CO2. Our tour guide told us this has always been an issue and that before they had sensors they used dachshunds on ropes to see if it was safe or not. If the dog passed out they would just Pull the dog out of the room and they would come to! There are several OLD breweries nearby but we did not have the time to visit them all.
Tip #6 Make Friends
It makes the experience that much better, Beer is better enjoyed with Friends!
Thanks to Samantha and Chad Meirose for this guest report. All images by Samantha & Chad Meirose.