Author Moses Wolff has written one of the most entertaining guides to Munich’s Oktoberfest. Meet Me in Munich: A Beer Lover’s Guide to Oktoberfest is an homage to the sheer joy that is this pretzel-fueled, beer drinking festival.
Germany’s beer culture is remarkably different than America’s. Public alcohol isn’t illegal; the drinking age for beer is 16 (for liquor, you’ll need to wait until your 18th birthday), and beer is cheaper than water. Sound good so far?
Wolff, a native Bavarian, is a comedian, cabaret singer, actor and author of the best book about Oktoberfest around. He is passionate about Oktoberfest—every year, he goes to watch the tents assembled before the event starts. That’s diehard. With entire sections dedicated to things like “Strategic Drinking”, “Buying the Perfect Lederhosen” and an overview of Oktoberfest’s most traditional pretzel makers, this is a can’t-miss guidebook for anyone considering a trip to Munich’s grand event.
A Trip to Oktoberfest: It Belongs on Your Bucket List
Each year, around 6 million visitors partake in the consumption of more than 2 million gallons of beer. The local Bavarians are known for their tremendous, heartfelt hospitality to visitors. Well, everyone except one famous American heiress. In 2006, Paris Hilton was banned for showing up at the festival trying to push her new brand of sparkling wine in a can, Rich Prosecco.
According to Wolff, you never know who you’re going to meet inside of the famous beer tents, or what German drinking songs you’ll remember, or which of the six authorized Oktoberfest brewers will strike your fancy. Just order the big beers (the one liter versions) to avoid raising the ire of fellow beer lovers.
Beer Fit for Bavaria
Munich’s official brewers that are allowed to participate are Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbrau, Lowenbrau, Paulaner and Spaten. The beer is boozy to boot, with an average alcohol percentage of between 5.7 and 6.3; this stuff is high test. Brewers use less carbonation, which means you’ll need to drink it faster before it goes flat. Wolff’s favorite brew: the golden-brown beer of the Hacker-Pschorr brewery.
Food Fit for Consumption
Oktoberfest delicacies include chicken, pork knuckle, pretzels galore and roast pork. If you’re a vegetarian, no worries; beer in Munich is made according to a 500-year-old purity law that prohibits animal by-products from being included in the ingredients. You’ll find that other veggie options like eggplant schnitzel or bacon-free sauerkraut are available.
Get to Oktoberfest with EF College Break
It all adds up to Oktoberfest belonging on your bucket list. If you can’t make this year or just want to dream, Meet Me in Munich is a great investment. EF College Break offers several Oktoberfest-only departures. Plus, our Berlin, Prague & Munich trip departing September 24th includes time in Munich during the festival, as does the Germany, Italy & Switzerland trips that depart on September 16th & September 29th.