Although Oktoberfest has morphed into a festival of beer, it began as a celebration of a royal wedding more than 200 years ago. It starts in September, last for 16 days and ends on the first Sunday in October.
I can assume that most of you won’t be making it to Munich to participate in the festivities at the celebrations birth place. But, if you want to throw yourself your own little Oktoberfest, I have some facts for you that can help you celebrate in a more authentic fashion than those American street fairs in late October with macro beer and sorifity girls in period inaccurate midriff baring wardrobes.
First, you’ll need some local beer, Oktoberfest only serves beer brewed in the Munich city limits. Follow suit and find the breweries closest to your own home, or talk that home brewer you know into making you a batch, those guys are always up for sharing.
Second, learn the opening salute. For the past 60 years the celebration has been kicked off by the mayor of Munich yelling, “O’ zapft ist!” (it’s tapped!) after the very first keg of Oktoberfest beer has been tapped.
Make fun of people who can’t hold their liquor. Really, this is always a good idea, but at the festivals in Munich, those who get too drunk and pass out are teased with the label “Bierleichen” (beer corps). Please, know your limits.
Traditional foods include: Roast pork, sausages, pretzels, potato dumplings, cheese noodles, potato pancakes, sauerkraut, and spiced cheese-butter spread.
Although not technically a traditional Oktoberfest food, beer cheese soup has made it’s way onto Oktoberfest menus all over the word. Throw in some sausage and sauerkraut and serve it in a pretzel bread bowl to make it a little more credible.