SOME TRADITIONAL MUNICH OKTOBERFEST BEER TENTS:
Visitors to the Munich Oktoberfest have plenty of drinking choices – there are fourteen large Oktoberfest beer tents to choose from. Each tent offers visitors to the world’s most famous beer festival a particular experience, taste sensation, and of course beer.
During our last Oktoberfest visit, we checked out a few of these traditional Oktoberfest beer tents. The tents are mostly sponsored by the major beer companies and they are impressive in terms of their seating capacities. In order to experience some traditional Oktoberfest hospitality ourselves, we visited some of the Oktoberfest beer tents below.
Schottenhamel began in 1867 as a single small shed behind the King’s marquee. At that time, hardly 50 people could fit inside Michael Schottenhamel’s then new Oktoberfest restaurant. Today, the Schottenhamel tent and beer garden is the largest in Wiesn with a capacity for 10,000 people (6,000 inside and 4,000 outside)!
Schottenhamel is the most important tent at Oktoberfest. This is where Oktoberfest is officially declared open each year with the Oktoberfest tapping of the barrel tradition. At 12 noon sharp, the first keg is tapped by the Mayor of Munich to the famous cry of O’zapft is! Only then can the other tents begin to serve beer. You cannot get more traditional than this!
The Hofbräu Tent
After Schottenhamel, the Hofbräu Tent is the second largest at the Oktoberfest and can accommodate about 9,920 people (6,898 inside and 3,022 outside). This includes the 1,000 standing places in front of the music stage – the only one of its kind on the Oktoberfest grounds. It seems that Americans and Australians feel especially happy here – this sounds a bit ominous!
Without fail, Hofbräu decorates its tent ceiling every year with twelve hundredweights of hop vines from the Holledau region. The decorations are beer-themed of course. It’s worthwhile paying a visit just to see the decoration. Tuesday is family day at the Hofbräu Tent. Some 600 seats are reserved for parents and their children from 11:00 to 15:00.
This comparatively small tent is apparently where the Munich celebrity guests hang out and you might spot a few international ones as well. Watch out for the bouncer! This comfortable and cosy tent is popular with gourmands and if you like roast duck, this is the place to be.
Fischer Vroni is a tent for people like us who have no interest in pig’s knuckles or meat of any sort. These guys specialize in steckerlfisch, a very popular meal at Oktoberfest. Here you can watch the skewered fish being grilled in a 15-meter row and then enjoy the freshly grilled fish.
The Augustiner Tent
For the friendliest of Oktoberfest hospitality, pay a visit to the Augustiner Tent. The proprietor Manfred Vollmer and his team have a reputation as one of the friendliest at the Oktoberfest.
Augustiner serves hearty food to hungry revellers and the Augustiner Oktoberfest music band led by Reinhard Hagitte keeps the atmosphere jovial.
Apart from friendly service, the Augustiner-Bräu of Munich has another special treat. The brewery makes a special Oktoberfest beer which is served only during this Munich beer fest from traditional wooden barrels. The Augustiner-Bräu beer tent seats 6,000 people inside and 2,500 people outside. Tuesday is kids day.
If you like ox meat, Ochsenbraterei is the tent for you. What began as a ‘mechanical ox rotisserie’ run by the butcher Johann Rössler is now one of the biggest food tents on the Theresienwiese. Today, the oxen are roasted whole on a modern spit. They claim that they taste as good as they did back then … and I’ll just take their word for it! Ochsenbraterei also offers authentic oompah Oktoberfest music to go with the food and drink.
The Ochsenbraterei, otherwise known as the Spatenbräu festival tent, will be represented at the Oktoberfest for the 135th time in 2016.
And here’s a tent for archers. As long ago as 1895, the Winzerer Fähndl archers’ guild opened their first Oktoberfest tent to serve crossbowmen and their guests as well as to host shooting competitions. The German Crossbow Championships are held at the Oktoberfest to this day. An annex to the main Armbrustschützenzelt tent contains the 30-metre ranges. Brassbands enliven the atmosphere with waltzes, oompah music and party classics.
In addition to the fourteen large beer tents, there are about 24 small tents as well, selling all kinds food.