Drinking Like a Münchner - Everything About Oktoberfest Beer

A special Beer

Before you can put the Maßkrug to your lips with enjoyment, the beer first must be brewed. Traditionally, only beers brewed within the city limits of Munich may be served at the Oktoberfest. The current Munich Breweries include Spatenbräu, Augustiner, Paulaner, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu and Löwenbräu.

The Märzen beer, (which receives its name from the month of March, when it is brewed) is especially made extra strong for the Oktoberfest. This bottom-fermented, festival beer has a higher base gravity (at least 13.6%) and at about 6%, a higher alcohol content than conventional lager beer. This is something to keep in mind when drinking, so you don't have to leave the Oktoberfest too early.

The delicious amber style beer is brought to the table by the waitresses and waiters. It is an absolute high performance to itself, as they carry the filled mugs and the food through the long corridors of the beer tents. The more mugs a waitress can carry to the tables at once at the Oktoberfest, the more money she earns per round. Thus, Maßkrug lugging truly becomes a competitive sport. Up to 18 beer mugs and therefore 41.4 kg (91.27 lbs.) are sometimes carried. If you want to try it out, you can find the right mugs in our store or on our website. But always walk carefully - the rule is that you only receive tip when you’re able to serve full mugs.

In 2019 (the last year before CCVID) a staggering 7.3 million liters of beer were delivered to the tables and drunk. To picture how much that is, here's a little visualization: 7.3 million mass beers fill more than three Olympic-size swimming pools.

 Here are some drinking rules:

  • It is perfectly acceptable to have a beer with your breakfast. The beer at the Oktoberfest is served from 9am to 11pm, and from the calories, is quite a meal by itself.
  • The Maß should be filled with a liter of delicious beer. Make sure that the beer is poured into your Maßkrug up to the imprint, and then you're ready to go.
  • Grasp the Maßkrug with one hand (to avoid bruising) and lift it upwards. (The one hand position also shows strength.) Now put all your strength into the lifting arm, look your drinking buddies in the eye and lightly toast the glasses. Do not forget to say "Prost!"

Masskrug      

(first picture "drinking like a Bavarian"; second "drinking like a not so strong Bavarian"; third pocture "drinking like a Tourist")

  • Now opinions differ here - to put the glass down before drinking or not? Some say that by putting the glass down, the overflow of beer is wiped off, and does not run over onto the Dirndl or Lederhosen. Others say that by putting the glass down, you toast the whole table. Still others claim that by setting it up, the toasting is taken back. (Tip: observe and imitate the locals).
  • It is also important not to completely empty the beer mug. To show that you know your way around, leave the so-called "Norgerl" in your beer glass. Never pour fresh beer on the last sip, even if the waitress takes a little longer with the freshly tapped beer.
  • No matter how thirsty you are, it's forbidden to drink beer in one gulp (i.e., to chug it) at the Wies'n. If you do it anyway, the first time you will get a warning. If, despite the warning, another drinking companion at the same table finishes his beer in one go, the whole table is kicked out! Beer is a pleasurable substance, not an intoxicant!

 

Finally, here is the drinking ritual in the Wies'n Zelt (Beer Tent at the Oktoberfest):

The bandmaster starts the ritual with the words: "Krüge hoch! “

By now, anyone who has read through this article knows how to follow this instruction. Hold the stein in one hand and lift it upwards.

Now the famous song “Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit” (translated to "A toast to well-being" in English) is played. At this point when the whole tent is singing "Ein Prosit! Ein Prosit! der Gemütlichkeit! Ein Prosit! Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit! Oans, zwoa, drei - g'suffa!" you turn to your neighbor and toast (as described above). Now one may enjoy the well-deserved sip and sit down again, until the ritual is started once more.

The song “Ein Prosit” is said to have been written by Bernhard Traugott Dietrich, who, at the end of the 19th century in Chemnitz (which is not in Bavaria), came up with the memorable melody and the catchy lines.

 

Don’t forget to order your Oktoberfest Maßkrug and enjoy. Prost!