24/11/2019 Off By Peigi MacVicar

Beer and pretzels, beer and pretzels, beeeeer.

If that’s what you’re looking for, Oktoberfest is where you need to go. Where the beer flows ceaselessly at your pleasure and pretzels are in no short supply. Hearty home cooking also surrounds you as well as the particular ambience of an Oompah band. Keep reading for some obscure beer facts and reasons to celebrate…

Beer was not considered an alcoholic beverage in Russia until 2013.

What is Oktoberfest?

So, if you don’t know, Oktoberfest is the world’s largest ‘Volksfest’ – a beer or wine festival with fairgrounds. The festival originally started in 1810 celebrating the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and no ones looked back since. Now huge all over the world, it’s one of Germany’s most renowned features!

  • During WWII, a bear named Wojtek joined to Polish army to transport ammunition and drink beer.
Steins of beer
Table beer (1.5%) was served in Belgian schools until the 1980s.


Oktoberfest takes place from the middle of September to the beginning of October lasting 16 to 18 days. This might seem like a long time to be drinking beer for, but once you start celebrating you can’t miss out on the fun! In 2020 the festival begins on 19 September and ends on 4 October.

  • Did you know: Norway’s first aircraft hijacking was resolved after the hijacker was offered beer in exchange for his weapon.
People drinking beer and eating pretzles
Slugs like beer.


Bavaria is the heartland of Oktoberfest, Munich specifically is where the largest celebrations take place. However, as you probably know, the festival is not limited to the south of Germany, in fact, the second-largest celebration takes place in Brazil! Asia, North America and Australia also celebrate Oktoberfest – it really is a global festival!

  • Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty beer glass.
Two women in traditional German dress holding steins of beer
More Guinness is drunk in Nigeria than in Ireland.


Whether celebrating at home, in Germany or anywhere in the world, Oktoberfest is bound to be a fun time! Just imagine boozing on German beer for two weeks whilst enjoying some delicious pretzels and plenty of other events. There is also a Gay Oktoberfest called Rosa Wiesn that attracts thousands of visitors on Gay Sunday alone!

  • At the start of Bavarian Beer Week, open-air fountains dispense free beer.
A glass of beer
Beer was illegal in Iceland until March 1 1989 – the date is celebrated every year as Bjordagur or ‘Beer Day’.

So, how much beer can you drink? Oktoberfest is the best time to test yourself! In 2013, festival-goers consumed THREE Olympic pools worth of beer in just over two weeks! Take what you will from that, Prost!