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The official Oktoberfest celebration in Munich, Germany is one of the greatest events in the world. It's the largest folk fair on the planet. The beer is excellent. The mood and the music is all fun. And the food is absolutely incredible.
Begun in 1810 as a wedding celebration for Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen, the event was so enjoyable it was decided to host it every year. Eventually, to coincide with warmer weather, the start of the festival was moved into September, which is still the case today.
Due to the Covid pandemic, Oktoberfest was not held for the last two years. This year will mark its return, and more than 7 million guests are expected to attend, serving nearly the same number of liters of beers. The food? Yes, each tent has its own specialty ranging from ox to fish on a stick, and guests are expected to consume more than 300,000 wurst sausages, more than 500,999 chickens, 120 oxen, and more than 100,000 pounds of fish.
On the wiesn, the local nickname for the fairgrounds, beer is regulated to the "Big Six" breweries in Munich. The largest of the beer tents, the Schottenhamel-Festhalle serving beer from Spatenbräu, can host 10,000 guests, making it the largest of the tents, as well as serving as where the two-week-plus festivities begin. O'zapft is!
Philadelphia certainly has some deep German roots and is one of the country's premier beer-drinking cities. While Oktoberfest celebrations have been muted and sometimes even canceled over the past few years, we're expecting a greater return to normal during the 2022 Oktoberfest season. Check out this list of local and regional beer festivals to learn more.
In addition to these great events, consider celebrating the great German tradition of gemütlichkeit in one of these great locations:
With more than 20,000 square feet, this rustic yet beautiful space serves up an all-American menu and 40 different taps of regional craft beers. The best part, though, might be the views. Overlooking the Liberty Bell and the Independence National Historic Park, the Independence Beer Garden is one place you can enjoy some history with your suds.
This German-style Biergarten for the 21st century is located in the heart of Philadelphia's Fishtown, and it straddles the line between edge and charm, between American and German. Look for both German and American brews served in half and full-liter sizes, as well as a menu that contains everything from brats and burgers to warm Bavarian pretzels.
Our own Neil Inverso has family that opened a business in Fox Chase in a large, German business population. That said, we're always looking for a chance to celebrate German heritage and the great Oktoberfest traditions here at Once Source, and this year, we're doing it in our test kitchen. Join us on September 21st for a few hours of fun. Prost!