It’s the time of year for the weekend-long beer-pa-looza’s known as Oktoberfest, and if you live in a populated area, you can bet your feathered hat that some steins are being noisily hoisted under a large tent nearby. These German-centric festivals are dedicated to the glory of beer (OK, bier), which we can obviously get behind, but they can be overwhelming to newcomers. Duke Cannon has been to his share of these events, and we have some tips to make sure you are able to enjoy the proceedings to the utmost. Prost!
GET A PRETZEL (OR THREE)
Duke Cannon has always believed in the importance of having a game plan, and establishing a good “blow base” before downing multiple beers fits squarely into this category. Well, few things are as effective in this regard as a steering-wheel-sized hunk of salted sourdough.
LEARN TO APPRECIATE THE ACCORDION
We get it: it's not exactly the electric guitar (or even an acoustic one) but after a beer or two (or three), you’ll have to admit the eastern Europeans were on to something when they boldly asked, “what would a miniature piano sound like if you squeezed it like a bagpipe?”
DON'T POINT AT THE LEDERHOSEN
Yes, we know: they’re made of leather, have lots of buttons, and the accompanying knee-high socks and suspenders don’t do them any favors. But has a German guy ever pointed at your cargo shorts are laughed? No? Then please return the favor.
LYRICS AREN'T IMPORTANT
Sure, knowing the lyrics to some of the musical standards that comprise the German drinking genre will endear you to other festival goers, but it is by no means a requirement. We’ve found that you can just vaguely sing something like “Ja, jaaaa, ja jaaa!” while swaying back and forth and it more than passes muster.
German beers are strong, and the steins are big. Imbibe at a measured pace, lest Randy need to roll you home in a wheelbarrow. And speaking of steins
STEIN > PLASTIC CUP
Bring a stein or buy one on premises. Toting around a red plastic cup at an Oktoberfest celebration is the definition of a rookie maneuver and will most certainly result in a constant stream of side-eyes. Worse yet, you could be pelted with Germanic insults, which, when delivered in a native tongue that makes even poetry sound mean, tend to land extra hard.