What is Oktoberfest all about? 🍻 🇩🇪
We are rapidly approaching 2 weeks of the year which see the worlds largest folk festival gather on an old race course in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. The main attraction is something we all love... BEERS! As well as of course, German food, lederhosen, music and a jolly good time - what's not to like? But where did all of this start and what are we really celebrating?
Well it didn't really start with beer... The first gathering was actually a horse race, intended to be a wedding celebration for a Bavarian Prince and Princess. Whilst it was only a horse race then, everyone had a bit of a laugh, they guy who had the idea got a medal and they said 'let's do this every year!'. A few years later they added a few games, food and beer stalls for people to enjoy.
Over the years, brewers started bringing a specific beer style just for the festival, called 'Marzenbier' which is a mild, toasty, lightly floral, easy drinking beer. Marzen (German for March) is brewed in March and then lagered in cold conditions til the late/end of summer. It's 'fest' strength, which is a little stronger than normal - around 6% ABV. Then there is Festbier, the modern day Oktoberfest beer which is more drinkable by the dozen and followed similar trends in lighter, paler beers becoming popular.
It was around the 1900s when breweries introduced the big boy glasses, 'Steins' and 'Mugs', meaning people starting getting through quite a bit of liquid. There are only 6 breweries that can bring beer to Oktoberfest - the 'Club of Munich Brewers', which includes the likes of the famous Paulaner, Löwenbräu, Hofbräu-München, and Hacker-Pschorr. These breweries started to bring huge tents that drinkers could sit in, the largest fitting 12,000 people, leading to Oktoberfest bringing in about 7 million drinkers a year.
Oktoberfest inspires beers and events around Germany and the world. Around this time, craft breweries are often brewing their own take on fest beers that nod to the traditional festival styles. So be sure to go and try some Oktoberfest beers and events around Singapore this year whilst knowing a little bit more and bore your mates with your new found pub chat! Check out our curated list of craft beer bars in Singapore!
If you want to find out more on German styles we did another blog here. We also have a Helles style lager from Mountain Culture as well as a load of other great craft beers to be delivered in Singapore, but unfortunately no Festbiers for now! Keep tuned and we will let you know if we do!