What is it?
Quite simply, Oktoberfest is the biggest beer festival in the world. It usually runs for two to three weeks from mid-September into October. It has been held in Bavaria since 1810
Where is it held?
The most famous one is held in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, but there are dozens of other Oktoberfest celebrations across the country, around the world and, now, in your home!
The briefest of brief histories
Kronprinz Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810. Invited the citizens of Munich, cue massive party. It included tree climbing, horses races, bowling alleys and swings – most of which still happen today, either sanctioned or not! By 1819, it had become an annual fixture.
In 1881, the first Bratwurst stall opened.
In 1887, brewery staff, their horse teams and bands, joined the parade and started playing in the pavilions.
In 1910, at the 100th anniversary, 120,000 litres of beer was consumed. Today, that's more like 7.7 million litres.
About the beer
Only beer according to the German Reinheitsgebot purity law (stating only water, barley, hops and yeast can be used in beer) is allowed to be served. And only six breweries are invited to the Munich Oktoberfest, including Löwenbräu and Spatenbräu.
A special beer is brewed for Oktoberfest – it is a Märzen (March beer - top confuse matters even more) and is a full-bodied lager, darker than the core lagers.