The Phoronix Guide To Oktoberfest 2011
Written by Michael Larabel in Events on 16 July 2011. Page 2 of 5. 37 Comments

Oktoberfest beer is slightly stronger than you'll find in Munich most other times of the year (sans Starkbierfest, another great but less-known festival right before Easter). Beer served at the wiesn is still limited to the main Munich breweries: Löwenbräu, Hofbräuhaus, Augustinerbräu, Paulaner, Hacker-Pschorr, and Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu. Oktoberfest beer is roughly 7~8% ABV. As Phoronix readers know, Augustiner is my definitive favorite beer in the world, which is all I consume during Oktoberfest. If craving a wheat beer or a drink to go with Weißwurst, Franziskaner is the favorite. Additionally, if trolling through Munich at a local shop, Tegernseer Hell is worth trying along with Andechser. To date I have tried over 200 kinds of German beer.

There's around two dozen tents at Oktoberfest maintained by the Munich breweries. There are some small tents, but most of the tents will accomodate several thousand attendees. Oktoberfest is still attended by locals, but there are quite a number of foreign nationals. In particular, lots of Italians and Australians tend to be fond of Oktoberfest for a holiday with a respectable number of Americans as well. While they are called tents, the Oktoberfest tents are very impressive wooden structures with electricity, plumbing, etc. Since Oktoberfest lasts less than three weeks per year, the tents aren't standing year round, but during the summer is when volunteers begin assembling the tents and other Oktoberfest structures atop the otherwise grassy meadow.

Beyond the beer, the food at Oktoberfest (and at anytime in Bavaria or other parts of Germany) is most excellent. During Oktoberfest, the chicken "Hendl" is most wonderful for dinner. A large pretzel "Bretzn" with cheese spread "Obatzda" is a wonderful lunch (note: Phoronix Media does own as well as for a yet-to-be-announced venture) to soak up any beer that may be in one's stomach, and then white sausage "Weißwurst" is the best breakfast to go with a morning beer. My other favorites include Schweinshaxe (roasted ham hocks), Kartoffelknödel (potato dumplings), Dampfnudel (steamed noodles), and Steckerlfisch (fish on a stick).

My usual diet during the period of Oktoberfest is generally Weißwurst or a belegtes Brot (sandwich) for breakfast, pretzel for lunch, and Hendl or Schweinshaxe for dinner intermixed with up to ten liters of beer per day. My Augustiner average though is six liters per day while still being in good shape to take care of Phoronix in the evening and other business. Thanks to Augustiner being among the purest Bavarian beer and in compliance with the Reinheitsgebot, I have never achieved a state of being "hung over" at Oktoberfest. Some debate whether the Reinheitsgebot (the Bavarian Beer Purity Order) really prevents hangovers, but I can fully attest to it at least personally when coupling it with some basic common sense (eat at least some food that day and consume a glass or two of water before sleeping). Every morning it's the same: feeling great, ready to do some business work, usually go for a run or other exercise, and then back to the wiesn.

On top of the Bavarian beer and food, the Bavarian women are also most excellent. The female Bavarian dress is the dirndl. The male equivalent is, of course, the lederhosen. [Yes, the same pair of lederhosens I'm frequently found wearing at Linux summits, other technology conferences, or just about anything else in life... I even skydive in my lederhosens. Lederhosens are extremely comfortable and need not be washed, which makes it particularly convenient when traveling.] Recently, it's also become a bit popular for the females to wear a special version of the lederhosen. While not traditional Bavarian "tracht" or common for any culture, it's become my wardrobe that lederhosens are worn with toe shoes, which is another easy way for those interested to spot me in the Augustiner tent by asking around for "the man with lederhosens and toe shoes." It generally works.

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