Oktoberfest Observations

It’s that time of the year again and to all those making their way to the biggest Beerfest in the world: Prost und gute Besserung!

Once inside the tent, you will be served by dedicated and talented ladies that can operate the handle of a huge Masskrüg, are able to carry up to 12 glasses containing 1 litre of beer in one go and give you a mouthful, if you deserve it, without tripping once! Since the bands in the massive tents make such a deafening noise anyway, it would seem wise to shut up, drink up and enjoy the experience as much as you can.

German brew masters still make beer in accordance with the purity regulations of Duke William IV who enacted these in 1516 (104 years after a similar one was enacted in Cologne in 1412). The laws have been reversed in the meantime (1987) because the European courts felt the limitations (in the use of hops, malt, yeast and water in making beer) were bothersome when it came to trading. Luckily the brew masters didn’t give a hoot about that and carried on doing what they had been doing for hundreds of years – and to this day, they make the best beer in the world. Take it or leave, they just do.

The monks who raised the skill of brewing to an art form have brewed Beer in Germany since the Middle Ages.

Köln (Cologne) is the city with the most breweries in one city (12 within the city limits and 12 in the surrounding areas) and Kölsch is the favourite beer – and quite rightly so.
Kölsch can only be made in Köln as was regulated in 1986.

You could try and taste all of the 5,000 different beers produced in Germany, but I doubt that anyone could manage that in one trip – and certainly not if the beerfest is the main reason for the trip.

The only beer I like is Kölsch – it is drunk from glasses called “rods” and these only hold ,2 litres. I discovered it last year when we went to a Christmas market. It was freezing cold and the ice cold beer in the hot pub was a hit with me! It’s really great – like having good ice cream in winter. However, when one thinks about it – there are only really two kinds of beer: the top fermented and the bottom fermented.

15 Beers you must try while you are visiting Germany

  • Flensburger Pilsner
  • Altenmünster Premium Bier
  • Dom Kölsch
  • Diebels Alt
  • Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier
  • Augustiner Bräu München
  • Warsteiner Pilsener
  • Weltenburger Kloster Asambock
  • Ayinger Maibock
  • Königlisches Festtagsbier
  • Erdinger Dunkler Weizenbock
  • Münchner Kindl Weissbier
  • Weihenstephan Hefeweissbier
  • Lauterbacher Brotzeitbier
  • Kloster Andechs Doppelbock

Snacks you must try in Bavaria

  • Fleischpflanzl (ground beef and ground pork patty)
  • Knöcherlsulz (pickled port knuckle)
  • Leberkäse (Baked puréed beef)
  • Obatzter (Dressed camembert)
  • Tellerfleisch (Cooked beef with horseradish)
  • Weisswurst (Mild sausage of veal purée)

If you have time in Frankfurt before you depart, do yourself a favour, have a cup of coffee and a slice of Frankfurter Kranz. This is a really good cake, delicious, rich, fattening, decadent and unforgettable – but beware, the heartburn that you will get if you make a pig of yourself will also be unforgettable.

It is made from baked biscuit dough that has been left to cool for about 24 hours, sliced three times horizontally, each layer sloshed in Kirsch and spread with butter cream before the layers are put together again. The outer layer is lathered with cream and sprinkled, liberally with burnt sugar and decorated with candied cherries. It absolutely brilliant and a must eat!

Bon Voyage



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5 responses to “Oktoberfest Observations

  1. To think that I live relatively so close, but have yet to attend Oktoberfest (or at least to visit Germany and have a taste of that Frankfurter Kranz!

    Great post…making notes for a future trip.

  2. Oh gosh – the frankfurter kranz looks SO GOOD and sounds amazing – wish I could get that around here somewhere!

  3. You could … your kitchen?

    As for the Oktoberfest – it is fun, and a once in a life time experience! Remember to be there early, though 🙂

  4. I’m heading there next week, will definitely keep this post in mind!

    Wow, I can’t wait… One can only try and taste all 5000 beers 🙂

  5. I would suggest you pack in enough hangover remedies.

    Eat as many Kieler Sprotten (Kiel Sprats) as you can find before each session. I love them as they are delicious – I am positive that a dozen of those with a crispy Reibekuchen would ensure good health during your stay!

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