The Oktoberfest's Great variety of Beer and Steins
There were German beer steins around before the very first Oktoberfest in 1810, but they have become an integral part of this annual festivity. Many manufactures of steins make a special edition just for this event every year.
There are Oktoberfests that are held around the world in many of the major cities to celebrate this festive time of the year. Traditionally this event is held in Munich Germany and lasts 16 to 18 days. It starts towards the end of September and goes thru the first week in October ending on the first Sunday in October. This annual event has been held each year except for 24 times during the last 200 years. This was due to the wars in Europe, disease and other emergencies where the government of Germany has canceled the event.
On average, the beer served at Oktoberfest is 2% stranger that normal beer. The only exception to this was in the post WWII years which only normal beer was permitted.
To give you an idea of the vast amounts of beer this festival can consume, there were over 120,000 liters of beer poured on the centennial year of 1910. The largest beer tent at this event was in 1913 when the Braurdsol was founded. It can accommodate 12,000 patrons.
In the past decade there have been over 33 different beers served at Oktoberfest. The prices per liter range from $11.47 to $12.16 in 2010. The figures from 2007 have shown the festivity is still growing. In 2007, 6.9 million liters of beer was consumed by 6.2 million visitors. Compare this to 222,725 liters of coffee and you can see what beverage is the preference.
There are 14 large tents annually and over 20 smaller tents. The largest tents and their surrounding beer gardens can accommodate over 10,000 patrons while the smaller ones are more manageable at 450 to 60 people.
In 1980, Budweiser introduced their holiday beer steins. Unfortunately they are all made in Brazil and will never be of the same high quality craftsmanship as the German Beer steins. They are also without lids.
The modern German beer steins that are sold in vast quantities is no longer real steins. To keep cost low, the lids and all the fancy decoration has been omitted. Most of these steins are made of ceramic, glass or plastic. These are available for under $10 in most cases. Fortunately there are still traditional German beer steins being produced that only cost $20 at the low side. Theses are still covered with domed pewter lids and are hand painted.
For those of you that wish to remember your time there with a better work of art, there are Oktoberfest German beer steins being made by the likes of King Werks. These hold one liter of beer and are covered with a pewter lid and are also hand painted. They will cost just over $100. Most are limited edition runs and the number of its production in the run can be found on the bottom of the stein.
There are both a great variety of beer and German beer steins available each year to celebrate Oktoberfest. They way you wish to remember will depend on what you drink out of and how much you drink.