This Saturday September 19th marks the kick off of Oktoberfest 2011 at the Wies'n in Munich, Germany. At 11 am the tent patrons arrive at the Wies'n after the official parade through the streets of Munich. 12 Noon marks the ceremonial tapping of the first Octoberfest-beer-barrel by the Munich mayor in the Schottenhamel Tent. This year's festival runs for 17 days from September 19th to October 3rd.
Oktoberfest is the world's largest fair attracting over 5 million visitors annually. It has grown since its beginnings in 1810 as a celebration of the marriage of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen to become one of the world's most renowned annual festivals with highlighting its celebration of beer.
Oktoberfest figures (2010)
- Seats in the festival halls: approx. 100,000
Visitors: 6.4 million
Beer: appr. 7,100,000 litres (1,875,621 gallons)
Wine: 89,259 liters (23,579 gallons)
Chicken: 505,901 units
Pork sausages: 119,302 pairs
Fish: 40,850 kg
Pork knuckles (haxen): 69,293 units
Oxen: 119 units
The price of beer (unfortunately) continues to rise with a Maß Krug (1 Liter Beer Mug) of brew ranging from €8.40 to €8.90 ($11.50 to $12.20). Choose from your favorite major Munich Breweries represented with tents at the festival: Augustiner Bräu, Spaten, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu München, Paulaner, and Löwenbräu.
If you can't make it across the Atlantic this year, throw your own party or visit one of the many Oktoberfest beer festivals held in major cities across the US. Check out our other posts with great recipes for throwing your own Oktoberfest party and get your official Oktoberfest Beer Mugs here.