Germany: Oktoberfest visitors drink 17,000 hl less beer

After a forced break of two years, this year's Oktoberfest disappointed breweries and organizers. Only 5.6 million liters of beer were drunk, 23 percent less than in 2019 (7.3 million liters). The number of visitors was also disappointing and at 5.7 million fell short of 2019 (6.3 million).

The reasons for this were varied. Above all, the rainy and cold weather spoiled the mood of many visitors. Oktoberfest boss and Advisor for Work and Economy for the City of Munich, Clemens Baumgärtner, called the weather the worst in 20 years.

Added to this was the dampened consumer mood with visitors spending less money for fear of inflation, and high energy prices.

Last but not least, many visitors may have feared infection with the corona virus, since there was neither a mask requirement nor other protective measures at the festival.

Consequently, on Saturday, the city of Munich reported 12,412 corona cases in the past seven days, a steep rise compared to the weeks before the festival. The number of unreported cases is estimated to be even significantly higher because only patients who had carried out an official PCR test were included in the official statistics.

Despite the high number of infections, the doctors gave the all-clear because the situation in the intensive care units of the hospitals remained even in comparison to pre-pandemic years relaxed. However, this may also be due to the fact that the number of alcohol-related accidents also fell significantly this year.

Oktoberfest is the world's largest beer festival. This year, it was the 187th Oktoberfest since its inception in 1810, when Munich residents were invited to the wedding of the future King Ludwig I of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Traditionally, the yearly festival starts in September and last two weeks until the first weekend in October. However in 2020 (, 21.4.2020) and in 2021 (, 3.5.2021), it had to be canceled twice in a row due to the Corona pandemic.

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