In the 17 days, I alone had over 100 liters of beer. Fortunately, Augustiner is nearly like water to me -- in terms of alcohol effects, not like the disgusting American beer taste.
Tourists all over the world attend Oktoberfest, from Russia and China to America. Italians and Australians continue to be in abundance at Oktoberfest. However, not many of them can handle the beer like the Bavarians.
While at Oktoberfest each year and each day, there are always new, interesting and unique moments. As far as benchmarks of Oktoberfest go, each year I always find it interesting the response when I tell new Germans I meet at the wiesn that I am from Chicago. For example, in 2009, it was most commonly an enthusiastic response "That's where Obama's from, yes?!" A year later, it was usually a similar message, but far less enthusiastic towards Obama. Now this year, only about two out of twenty or so new people even mentioned Obama! This year when bringing up Chicago, the American city is evidently now more pleasantly associated with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, even though the basketball player has been retired for a number of years. Wonderful results.
Another benchmark is the quality of the beer each year. The Augustiner this year on the wiesn was very good and my analysis was that there were no regressions in quality over last year. ;)
Oktoberfest 2012 is taking place from 22 September to 7 October. See you there! If anyone has any further questions about Oktoberfest or Munich/Bavaria in general, feel free to contact me, as I am quite passionate about the wonderful country and state. Also see my guide to Oktoberfest.