Saturday, 24 September 2011
beer festival of all beer festivals
we were in line early opening day to wait in the hofbraus tent for the noon tapping, coinciding with the mayoral tapping signaling the time beer would be served in all tents.
it's cash only so when the beer maid came around with 10 liters in her arms, we would throw cash at her to secure our lot for the table. depending on the tent, the polka band will play the cheers song periodically - hofbraus must have played it every 10 minutes whereas the mellower tent where we had dinner one night only played it every 30 minutes. ein prosit, ein prosit... it's the only german we learned.
beer is only served in liters. vegetables are sauerkraut and potatoes. so the festival is beer drinking and meat eating. and the meat was generous portions and surprisingly good given that it's produced on a mass scale. everyone's in a celebratory mood and meeting cheerful strangers was an easy thing, especially when we spoke zero german and they spoke very little english. we were invited to a family event in northern german.
outside of the tents, there's carnival games and rides. there are snacks for folks who want to break from meat. i swear, we sweat meat to detox. old town is a nice walk from the tents and fortunately, just outside our hotel. the bavarian parade on day 2 of the festival, where all the different townships parade in their traditional clothing and tools, was a lovely tradition to witness...from a trendy bar out of the rain.
lots of people say they want to do oktoberfest (in munich). it's quite the trek so we're incredibly grateful that we were able to celebrate with my sister and her husband. we can say we actually did it...and plan to do it again!