Sydney Times


Oktoberfest kicks off in Munich after 2-year break-Pictorial Essay

Written by Aksel Ritenis

Oktoberfest kicks off in Munich after 2-year break-Pictorial Essay

Famous  German beer festival in full swing with no restrictions or mask rules

MUNICH: Oktoberfest, the famed German beer festival that draws millions of visitors from around the world, opened on Saturday in Munich after a two-year pause due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is occuring Amid economic pressure, beer prices at the event are about 15% higher than in 2019.

In its 200-year history, the world’s biggest folk festival has been cancelled just 26 times, mostly due to World Wars I and II but also twice because of cholera outbreaks.

The  Oktoberfest is back  after two years of hiatus due to the COVID pandemic and the famed German beer festival in full swing with no restrictions or mask rules!

The last time the festival was held in 2019, the 6.3 million guests drank more than 7.3 million litres of German beer.

The Festival will run until Oct 3 .

Germans are among Europe’s heaviest beer drinkers, with an annual average consumption of 84 liters in 2021

Revelers in Munich were running in traditional Bavarian clothing early Saturday morning to secure a spot at the first Oktoberfest in two years.

It is the world’s biggest folk festival.

*”Munich Mayor Didier Reiter opened this year’s ceremony with three knocks of a hammer and inserting the tap in the first keg, with the traditional cry of “O’zapft is (it’s tapped).”Reiter then offered the first tankard to Markus Söder, the head of the regional government.

Other traditional events around the Wiesn are also on the program again: the parade of the Wiesnwirte onto the festival grounds, the large procession of traditional costumes and marksmen on the first Sunday of the Oktoberfest, the stand-up concert under the Bavaria or the firecracker shooting.

Visitors from across Germany and around the world can enjoy the heavy beer mugs, fat-dripping sausages and pretzels the size of dinner plates at the Munich Oktoberfest until October 3.”

*Quoted  from Deutches Welles

German Beer industry under pressure

With beer reserving a cult status in Germany, Oktoberfest generates around €1.2 billion ($1.2 billion) in income.

But with several economic challenges, the beer industry in Germany is under pressure.

The German Brewers’ Federation DBB on Friday called for help amid skyrocketing energy prices and supply chain disruptions.

“The government must react,” DBB said. “Without speedy state intervention and aid, hundreds of enterprises in the German beverages sector will disappear and thousands will become jobless.”

“The pressure is also reflecting on Oktoberfest visitors, with a 1-liter (2-pint) mug of beer priced between €12.60 and €13.80 — an increase of about 15% compared with 2019.”

Die Schweinshaxe blickt in BayernThe knuckle of pork has a long tradition in Bavaria and is a classic of Bavarian cuisine. It is probably one of the most popular regional specialities and is not only a household name in Germany. Internationally, too, the knuckle of pork is seen as typical German cuisine. The knuckle of pork consists of the leg of the pig, which is surrounded by a thick layer of fat. Before roasting, it is seasoned and left to marinate for one night. It is then roasted in the oven for several hours until it is crispy and spicy on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside. The consistency of the crust is crucial. It has to be “resch” (crispy) in Bavarian, i.e. it has to crunch when you bite into it. Traditionally, potato salad, bread dumplings or sauerkraut are served with the pork knuckle. These are accompanied by dark sauces, such as beer sauce.

New phase’ of COVID

In 2019, the last time Oktoberfest was held, 6.3 million guests attended the event.

This year, the 187th festival is taking place with no COVID restrictions.

In comments published earlier Saturday, Söder told the daily Münchner Merkur newspaper that COVID cases were likely to rise after Oktoberfest.

But, “at the same time, thankfully, we aren’t measuring an undue strain on hospitals anywhere,” the politician of the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) said.

“That speaks for us being in new phase of [the coronavirus pandemic],” Söder said. Still, authorities would try to protect vulnerable people but would not prevent celebration, he added.

Munich beer is a protected geographical indication for beer brewed within the city limits of Munich by the breweries that have joined together to form the Verein Münchener Brauereien (Munich Breweries Association). People all over the world associate the term Munich beer with quality and enjoyment, authentic festival and gastronomic culture, living traditions, in short: a special way of life. Anyone who has enjoyed a fresh Maß in one of Munich’s wonderful beer gardens can confirm this. All over the world, beer shapes the image people have of Munich.

*So Now we share with you some Important information!

Where is the Oktoberfest in Munich?

The Oktoberfest takes place every year on the largest fairground in Munich, the Theresienwiese. It is adorned, or rather overlooked, by the bronze, 18-metre-high Bavaria statue, on which steps you can perfectly enjoy a break from the hustle of the Oktoberfest. The fairground, where also the Spring Festival or the Winter Tollwood take place at other times of the year, is located quite centrally in Munich, slightly southwest of the city centre. For navigation or the online map, we recommend entering “Theresienwiese” or “Bavariaring”. However, it is better to take the public transport. The nearest underground stations are “Theresienwiese”, “Goetheplatz” and “Schwanthalerhöhe”; the S-Bahn station from which you can walk to Oktoberfest quickest is “Hackerbrücke”.

How do I get beer table reservations in a tent?

In order to secure a place as a group at one of the tables in the tent, you must book online or by telephone via the central reservation office of each marquee. With good luck, its possible to get a place without a reservation, as a part of the tables is always kept free for spontaneous visitors, but especially in the evenings or on weekends, it pays out to have his own place. For every reservation, you receive beverage and food vouchers with which you can pay the Oktoberfest waiters.

→ All central reservation offices for the tents can be found here.

Is there a dress code at the Oktoberfest?

Whether young or old, the clothing of the visitors is definitely eye catching at the Oktoberfest. So called Dirndls with blouses and festive aprons and fine leather trousers paired with traditional shirts and jackets have become a must have for all those who want to visit the world-famous Oktoberfest. The traditional costume can be traced back to the 19th century, when it was first worn as clothing by farmers and workers. Today there is a real hype about the most beautiful dirndl robes and stylish leather trousers.

By the way: The side on which a dirndl wearer places the bow of its apron shows whether she is single, widowed or in a relationship. What exactly you have to look for is revealed here!

What’s special: beer from wooden barrels

The popular Augustiner beer comes from the “hirsche,” traditional wooden barrels with a capacity of 200 liters. The beer tastes better from a wooden barrel than from a steel container: milder and more palatable, as it has less carbon dioxide. Cheers!

The history: on the Wiesn with tricks

What a dog he was, the “Nuremberg crocodile host” Georg Lang. He circumvented three conditions for admission on the Wiesn in 1898: he wasn’t from Munich, didn’t run his own bar at the Oktoberfest, and built much too large of a beer hall on the space of five previous pubs. He was the first Wiesn festival host to hire his own band in 1902. It was meant to increase beer consumption with mood music and toasts. The famous Wiesnstimmung was invented!

The audience: regulars and Munich locals

The Vollmer hosts enjoy many regulars and Munich locals as guests. The smooth Augustiner beer does the rest: Here, the atmosphere often gets cooking as early as the afternoon! During the week, on the other hand, it’s rather cozy, and you can also meet many families who enjoy Wiesn lunch with their children at Hendl und Spezi.

The menu: own butcher’s shop

The Augustiner tent is supplied by its own butcher’s shop, the Granerhof estate near Peißenberg, which also supplies the Augustiner restaurants in town. Here you can eat high welfare meat with a clear conscience. All dishes are made from regional products. There’s also something for vegetarians on the menu: creamy mushrooms, vegetable patties, or dumplings of spinach, quark, and pasta dough. The Augustiner tent also has a children’s menu and affordable lunch offerings.

The menu: Alpine dishes with cheese

The name says it all: At Feisinger’s Cheese and Wine Stubn, there is a large selection of Alpine cheese dishes and accompanying wines from France and Italy. As well as the house specialty — raclettethere are all kinds of cheeses, baked potatoes, cheese spätzle, delicious flammkuchen and schupfnudel dumplings. The food is accompanied by very palatable wines, served by landlady Rosemarie Feisinger. You can also find original Bavarian pork sausages with cabbage or delicious roast meat on the menu. For beer lovers, there is Franziskaner weissbier.

Only here: raclette under the vines

Fancy a raclette at the Wiesn?

At Feisinger’s, that is not only possible, but the order of the day. Raclette cheese is one of the most popular products at this small Wiesn tent. The cheese is suspended in the traditional Swiss oven, melted and then scraped off before serving. The melted cheese is served with a baked potato or on bread, and is enjoyed by guests at the large tables with a glass of wine. The lights are hung with vines for an authentic atmosphere.

*All photos are Copyright and owned by München Tourismus

*The Sydney Times acknowledges the resources of the and Deutsches Welles in compiling this report. 


About the author

Aksel Ritenis

Publisher and Custodian of the Sydney Times

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