“It was just a day of horse racing” explains Andreas Krenmair, Beer Author and Historian and most recent guest on Beer Me, as he describes the first Oktoberfest. 

Austrian-based Krenmair has done significant research on the Vienna Lager style and Austrian and German beer and brewing history. Most recently he joined the Beer Me podcast to begin to scratch the surface of Oktoberfest history. 

He explains how a city-wide celebration of the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig I of Bavaria to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen where the main attraction was a horse race has grown into the massive celebration of Oktoberfest. 
This year, the 188th Oktoberfest kicked off in Munich, Germany September 16th and ended on October 3rd. A celebration that draws numbers in the millions with additional celebrations worldwide. (Check out this recent episode to see how Jack’s Abby celebrated). 

The progression is fascinating to look back on, from the different attractions throughout the year to the actual beer served. Krenmair guides the listeners through his studies in the evolution of the world-famous celebration. 

A detailed map from 1843 shows the 22 publicans that served beer from Munich and the surrounding towns. These include some well-known producers, including “Hackerbräu, Pschorrbräu, Löwenbräu… Maderbräu, Knorrbräu, Oberkandler, Unterkandler, Singlspielerbräu” explains Krenmair. He also explains how the regulations on which beer can be served shifted throughout the years. Oktoberfestbier has even achieved PGI (Protected Geographic Indication) status in the EU.

With 188 years of celebrations, Krenmair was only able to scratch the surface of Oktoberfest history, but a worthy topic to tap into! Prost!