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The Real Oktoberfest Beer

A blonde lager is what is served at the true Oktoberfest.

Dave Carpenter Oct 25, 2016 - 5 min read

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Saturday, September 16, marked the official start of Munich’s 2017 Oktoberfest. Taking place over the course of two weeks, the world-famous party will end on Tuesday, October 3, and is expected to draw more than 6 million visitors from around the globe. While it’s best known as a beer-fueled celebration of Bavarian culture, the original Oktoberfest was actually a glorified wedding reception.

On October 12, 1810, the future king of Bavaria, Crown Prince Ludwig, was married to Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Somewhat unusually for royal weddings, a large public festival was held in a meadow near the gates of the city of Munich. Everyone had such a great time that they decided to make it an annual thing, and, this being Bavaria, it wasn’t long before beer overshadowed the premiere event’s nuptial nature. (As for Ludwig, he would go on to have numerous extramarital affairs, author some spectacularly uninspired poetry, and abdicate the throne in shame.)

Today’s Oktoberfest takes place in the very same meadow, called the Theresienwiese, which means “Therese’s meadow.” In the local dialect, both the meadow and the festival itself are known as the Wies’n.

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