With the end of September comes a gentle reminder that we live in a frozen tundra. But more importantly, the most glorious, globally renowned festival of beer comes around this time of year: Oktoberfest.
The festival originated in Munich, Germany, on October 12th, 1810, to celebrate the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig. Since then the celebration has only become bigger, better, and a little bit crazier.
You may have been thousands of miles from Munich while your friends studying abroad were living the dream at the real Oktoberfest. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bring the fun of the festival to Syracuse.
Here’s a guide on how throw your own Bavarian bash.
Beer, Beer and More Beer.
Oktoberfest is a celebration of beer—something we’re pretty familiar with as college students. So take some of your savings and invest in a cheap, somewhat German beer like Beck’s, which was originally brewed in Bremen, Germany.
However, cheap classics like Natural Light or Keystone Light make great substitutes. The real authenticity comes from drinking it from the one-liter glasses, which you can buy at Target for $27.99.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to yell “prost!” (German for cheers) every time you make a toast, take a drink, commit a party foul, etc.
Pretzels, Cheese, Meat?
You’ll need some food to soak up all that beer. Here are some of our Oktoberfest favorites:
Spätzle – These tiny dumpling noodles are traditionally served as a side dish with sauces or gravies. Buttery and filling, they taste even better a few days after they’re made.
Pretzels– Soft pretzels are a staple at Oktoberfest. Germany’s pretzels are crispy, with dark skin, but contain yeasty, chewy middles. A little different from the pretzels from Auntie Annie’s, but twice as delicious.
Bratwurst– Another staple, these famous sausages are found all over Oktoberfest and should make an appearance at yours too. You can always buy them pre-made if you don’t want to make them from scratch.
Raclatte – Melted cheese over bread or potatoes with onions, pickles and other spices thrown in. It is everything you could ever want in a meal, AND it’s easy to make.
None of these efforts will feel truly authentic unless you dress the part. This will be the most costly part of planning the event, but it’s a key detail that will ensure your party’s a success.
The lederhosen and dirndl have historically been the uniform of choice for festivities, holidays, and workers in Bavaria, the southeastern region of Germany where Munich is located.
The traditional clothing began popping up again at Oktoberfest over a decade ago, and is now the standard outfit of festivalgoers.
If you’re thoroughly prepared, this will ensue naturally. Just remember, Oktoberfest is about having a good time, and paying homage to the celebration that started it all back in 1810.
So gather your supplies and find your drunkards. Grab the pretzels; fill up the pitchers; and “prost!”