HomeGermanyOktoberfest, Munich's famous beer festival, returns after a two-year hiatus

Oktoberfest, Munich’s famous beer festival, returns after a two-year hiatus

Munich’s famous Oktoberfest beer festival is returning after a two-year hiatus caused by the pandemic, but the long-awaited event, which opens tomorrow, will be held under the heavy shadow of inflation, the Associated Press reports.

According to tradition, the festival will be opened at noon by the mayor of Munich, who will open the first keg of beer with the words O’zapft is, or “Open” in the Bavarian dialect, Darik reports.

According to the festival’s official website, a liter of beer will cost between 12.60 and 13.80 euros, which is 15 percent more than in 2019, when the event was last held.

For German brewers, the rising costs are much wider than the price of a pint of beer destined for the wooden benches of the festival. They face rising prices at all stages of the production chain – from raw materials such as barley and hops to caps and bottles.

Brewers use gas, the price of which has risen sharply since Russia invaded Ukraine and subsequent reductions in Russian supplies. Barley has doubled in price to €600 a tonne, bottles are up more than 80 percent, caps up 60 percent, and even label glue is in trouble.

“The German brewing industry has never seen prices like this,” said Ulrich Binet, a representative of the brewery Veltins, whose products are sold at Oktoberfest.

Despite all the problems, festival visitors will be served by 487 breweries, restaurants, fish and meat shops, wineries, and much more. Beer canopies will be open from 9am to 10:30am, with last orders taken at 9:30pm.

Before the pandemic, about 6 million people went through Oktoberfest. The organizers hope that this year the festival will at least come close to these figures.

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