History of Oktoberfest

Munich is the home of Oktoberfest.  The first ever Oktoberfest was held in in 1810 to celebrate the royal marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig, (later King Ludwig I), to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on 12 October.

People from Munich and the entire Bavarian region were invited to celebrate.  Festivities were held in fields by the city gates,  culminating in horse racing.  The popular horse races were held again the following year and annually after that which is how the tradition of Oktoberfest started.

Whilst horse racing is no longer part of the modern Oktoberfest, an agricultural show introduced in 1811 still appears at the festival every three years. The fun fair made its initial appearance in 1818 with the introduction of the first carousel.  Thirsty visitors were able to find refreshment at small beer stands.  The beer stands were so popular they rapidly grew in number and eventually, about 8 decades later, they were replaced by beer tents and halls.

Over the years, only wars and cholera epidemics have briefly curtailed Munich’sOktoberfest.  These festivities are now more an annual celebration of beer, usually starting in the third weekend of September and ending the first Sunday of October.

The largest beer festival in the world, typically attracting 6 million visitors, Munich’s Oktoberfest celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2010.  This year’s Oktoberfest, the 184th, runs 16 September – 3rd October.


But you can enjoy the tradition of Oktoberfest and celebrate beer much closer to home.  Brentwood Brewery is hosting its first Oktoberfest on Saturday 23rd September from 10.30am to 5pm.  There will be plenty of Brentwood Beer and some authentic craft brewed German beer from our friends at Pyraser Landbrauerei near Landkreis Roth, Brentwood’s twin town in Germany.

Brentwood Brewery is next to Calcott Hall Farm off Ongar Road, Brentwood.

Liebe Bier, Liebe Brentwood – Love Beer, Love Brentwood

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