SOME TRADITIONAL BEER TENTS AT MUNICH OKTOBERFEST:
There are fourteen large beer tents at Oktoberfest, each one offering visitors to the world’s most famous beer festival a particular experience, taste sensation, and of course beer.
During our last Oktoberfest visit, we called into a few of the Oktoberfest tents below to check out the scene at these traditional Oktoberfest beer tents, and to experience some traditional Oktoberfest hospitality ourselves.
Schottenhamel began in 1867 as a single small shed behind the King’s marquee. Hardly 50 people could fit inside Michael Schottenhamel’s new Oktoberfest restaurant at that time. 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)!
More importantly, Schottenhamel is the venue for the annual Oktoberfest tapping of the barrel tradition. At 12 noon sharp on the opening day, 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 exactly 9,992 people. This includes the 1,000 standing places in front of the music stage – the only one of its kind on the Oktoberfest grounds. It says 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 and its worthwhile paying a visit just to see this. Tuesday is family day at the Hofbräu Tent and 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. This comfortable and cozy tent is popular with gourmands and if you like roast duck, this is the place to be.
Fischer VroniFischer 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 friendlist of Oktoberfest hospitality, pay a visit to the Augustiner Tent where proprietor Manfred Vollmer and his team are considered one of the friendliest at the Oktoberfest.
Apart from friendly service, what’s special about this tent is that Augustiner-Bräu of Munich makes a special Oktoberfest beer which is served only during this Munich beer fest and only from traditional wooden barrels. The Augustiner-Bräu beer tent seats 6,000 people inside and 2,500 people outside.
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 tents on the Theresienwiese and offers authentic oompah Oktoberfest music along with the food and drink. Today, the oxen are roasted whole on a modern spit but taste as good as they did back then.
The Ochsenbraterei, otherwise known as the Spatenbräu festival tent, will be represented at the Oktoberfest for the 134th time in 2015.
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 and 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.