O.J. Beer

How Oktoberfest Started

If you’re a beer lover, then you’re definitely familiar with Munich’s Oktoberfest. It’s the largest and most recognized festival that celebrates our favourite foamy drink, BEER!

When you think about Oktoberfest, you probably think of huge mugs of beer, mountains of pretzels, and dirndl costumes. So, what made the good citizens of Munich want to drink a lot of beer every October? Let's look back at the history of the Oktoberfest and about the evolution of the world famous beer festival.

How Oktoberfest Started:

The history of Oktoberfest really traced back to a single wedding, which has been celebrated for over 200 years. It began on October 12, 1810 in Munich and lasted nearly a week. It included a horse race and a feast for the whole of Bavaria. The inaugural Oktoberfest was celebrated in honour of Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. 

After that, the happy couple decided that the same festival should be held annually. From 1819 onwards, the citizens of Munich took on the responsibility of organising the festival, turning it into an annual event. From then, the Oktoberfest celebration was extended and the start date brought forward, to take advantage of the longer and warmer September days. 

Oktoberfest quickly expanded from a one day festival into a 16 day festival starting in late September and continuing through until the 1st week of October. The festival traditionally begins with a parade, which starts just before noon on the first day. This includes the Mayor and the other civic leaders, followed by horse drawn brewers carts, with many different beer brands being represented and the people attending are usually wearing traditional Bavarian costumes. The Mayor opens the first keg of beer at the Schottenhamel tent and the toasting begins. On average, about 7,000,000 people will attend the festival at some point.

Oktoberfest Beers

Munich’s six major brewers can be found in the seven halls where live music is performed throughout the day. These include Hacker-Pschorr, Lowenbrau, Spaten, Hofbrauhaus, Augustiner, and Paulane. These brewers prepare the beer months in advance and ensure they are ready for the celebration!

Oktoberfest celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1910. There were 120,000 gallons of beer poured at this festival alone. In 1913, the Bräurosl was founded, which was the largest Oktoberfest beer tent of all time, with room for 12,000 guests.

Have you ever been to Oktoberfest Munich? We’d like to hear your experience! Share it with us on social media and don’t forget to tag us!
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