In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

A Brief History of Oktoberfest

The History Behind Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest started out as a celebration of the marriage of Kronprinz Ludwig and Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The citizens of Munich attended the royal event on October 12th, 1810. The main entertainment for the first Oktoberfest included horse races and a parade. More events were added the following year. This included tree climbing, swings, bowling alleys and other attractions. As the years continued Oktoberfest grew. More events and the ever so popular beer tent became common. Eventually the festival was pushed back to start at the beginning of October for the warmer temperatures. The 100th anniversary of Oktoberfest saw almost 120,000 liters of beer consumed.  In 1999 six and half million people visited the festival.

The Beer

Only beer that meets the ‘German Beer Purity Law’ and is brewed in the city limits of Munich can be served at the Munich Oktoberfest. Only 6 breweries in Munich are allowed to brew official Oktoberfest beer for the festival. Traditionally an Oktoberfest beer is a lager. The first Oktoberfest beer was a darker lager than we see today but by 1872 a more amber colored beer became popular.

We sat down with a local brewer and talked Oktoberfest beer! Watch it HERE.