x

Wine & Spirits

Coronavirus-Wary Bavarians Kick Off Toned-Down Oktoberfest

September 20, 2020

BERLIN — Oktoberfest celebrations got underway Saturday in Munich with the traditional tapping of a keg and the cry of "O'zapft is!" — "It's tapped!" — but this year's festival is very non-traditional and highly regulated due to coronavirus concerns.

The official Oktoberfest has been cancelled, so there's no huge tents full of people or hundreds of stands selling food. Instead, 50 of the southern German city's beer halls and other establishments are hosting their own, smaller parties that follow guidelines on mask wearing, social distancing and other restrictions.

Former Mayor Christian Ude got the party started, hammering a tap into a 20 liter (5 gallon) keg — a tenth of the size of the Oktoberfest norm — at the Schillerbraeu beer hall while dressed in Bavarian lederhosen leather pants and wearing a protective mask. 

Meantime, police patrolled the regular festival grounds to make sure no spontaneous parties broke out. 

The loss of Oktoberfest is a huge hit for the Bavarian city, which saw 6.3 million guests flood in last year for the festival's 186th year. They were served 7.3 million liters (about 15.5 million pints) of beer over 16 days and consumed 124 oxen, among other traditional foods.

This year's toned-down celebrations run through Oct. 4.

RELATED

As a sommelier, Evan Turner knows Greek wine and he wants everyone else to know about it too, and he's using his key position at Krasi (Greek word for wine) Meze and Wine in Boston to make sure.

Top Stories

United States

I’ve only ‘met’ Zaferios G Caragianades once in the pages of history.

Politics

Ambassador Dimitrios Tsikouris (JD, MA) has a 36-year-long career in the Greek Diplomatic Service with assignments in Germany, the United Nations, New Orleans, Washington, DC, NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy, Iran, Belgium, Indonesia, Malaysia, and ASEAN.

Politics

ATHENS – Growing violence on Greek campuses will be dealt with, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a pledge to root out offenders who are allowed to stay in school despite causing problems.

Video

Jill Biden: I Didn’t Expect “Healing Role” as First Lady

LAS VEGAS — Her husband campaigned to help unite the country, but Jill Biden says "healing" a nation wounded by a deadly pandemic, natural and other disasters and deep political polarization is among her chief roles as first lady, too.