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Fun on tap

Fun on tap
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First Published: Fri, Sep 11 2009. 10 05 PM IST

Updated: Fri, Sep 11 2009. 10 05 PM IST
• The Hippodrom is a favourite with the younger, trendier set and a celebrity-magnet. Serves Spaten-Franziskaner beer and champagne. Email hippodrom@t-online.de
• The Armbrustschützen-Festhalle has an archery theme and a crossbow competition, which was introduced in 1895. The Paulaner beer is delivered fresh every day. Call +49-89-23703703
• The Hofbräu-Festzelt is where Americans congregate for the Hofbräu brew. Expect lots of Bavarian eats. Email info@hb-festzelt.de
• The Hackerbräu-Festhalle has 13,000 sq. ft of scenery painted with Munich landmarks and a rock ‘n’ roll band. Seats 6,900 and serves Hacker-Pschorr beer. Call +49-89-81707303
• The Schottenhammel is considered most “important” as the mayor of Munich declares the festival open here. Email festhalle@schottenhamel.de
• The Schützen-Festhalle has a shooting club theme, servers in traditional Bavarian costumes and a delicious suckling pig prepared in a malt beer sauce. Call +49-89-23181224
• The Winzerer Fähndl (Paulaner-Brauerei-Festhalle) stands out with a huge revolving mug of beer on top. If rambunctious crowds are your scene, this is where you go. Call +49-89-62171910
• Käfer’s Wiesnschänke is the smallest tent and the one where you find the most exotic food, including water fowl and wild game. Email wiesn@feinkost-kaefer.de
• Fischer-Vroni focuses on fish dishes, especially fish-on-a-stick. Wash them down with Augustiner beer on tap. Call +49-89-661042
• Better known as Ochsenbraterei for the variety of ox dishes it serves, the Spatenbräu-Festhalle is the place for family-friendly fun and traditional brass music. Email info@ochsenbraterei.de
• The Augustiner-Festhalle serves the local Augustiner beer. One of the most popular tents, it seats 6,000. Call +49-89-23183266
• The Bräurosl is the place for Hacker-Pschorr beer and traditional food. Call +49-89-89556353
• The Löwenbräu-Festhalle, capped by a giant lion, serves, what else, but Löwenbräu. Email festzelt@unionsbraeu.de
• Weinzelt offers a complete experience, with cheeses and roast duck accompanying Nymphenburg sparkling wine, Roederer champagne and Paulaner Weissbier. Email weinzelt@kuffler.de
When: 19 September–4 October.
Where: Theresienwiese, Munich, site of the wedding of Bavaria’s Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria (later King Ludwig I) to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen in 1810.
History: Oktoberfest has its origins in the harvest cycle: The festival celebrated the onset of the winter brewing season, washed down by all the beer saved to tide over the summer months. But it wasn’t till the turn of the 19th century that the first beer tents, sponsored by specific landlords, made their appearance.
Facilities: The festival grounds have nearly 1,000 washrooms, including 17 for the disabled, but be prepared for long queues.
Costs: Entrance to Oktoberfest and to the individual beer tents is free, though reservations are advisable.
A maß, 1 litre of beer, will cost between €8.30 (around Rs580) and €8.60 this year.
When to go: Tuesdays—22 and 29 September—are family days, with discounts for childern on games and attractions (noon to 6pm). Weekends traditionally draw the largest crowds, as do the last few days of the festival. Beer sales start at 10am (except weekends and holidays, when it is 9am) and end at 10.30pm. Käfer’s Wiesnschänke and Weinzelt remain open till 1am, with last drinks being served at 12.15am.
Accommodation: If you aren’t travelling in a group, you could still wrangle a room for a part of Oktoberfest. Call the festival’s Comfort Reservation team for help, Monday through Friday, 8am-7pm, on +49-89-23396555. For a full list of hotels and guesthouses, go to www.muenchen-tourist.de. There are special facilities for motor-home parking as well.
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First Published: Fri, Sep 11 2009. 10 05 PM IST