Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Oktoberfest Revellers Drank Record 7 Million Liters of Beer

Visitors to the Munich Oktoberfest this year drank their way into the history books by downing an unprecedented 7 million liters of beer, beating the previous high of 6.94 million reached in 2007, the organizers said. The impressive list of lost items includes a set of dentures and a live rabbit.

Was it the sunny weather, the economic recovery or the special anniversary? All three factors might have played a part in the surge in beer consumption at the two-week Munich Oktoberfest this year to 7 million liters, up 500,000 from 2009 and just above the previous high of 6.94 million set in 2007, according to an impressive set of statistics provided by the organizers after the party ended on Monday.

"I've no idea why people drank that much," Gabriele Papke, the spokeswoman for the festival, told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "They were simply thirsty."

It was a record that befitted the 200th anniversary of the world's biggest beer festival which began in 1810 to mark a royal Bavarian wedding. The total number of visitors was estimated at 6.4 million, and some 550,000 to 600,000 people came on Saturday alone.

The annual compilation of statistics always makes for entertaining reading because it conveys the gargantuan scale of the party that attracts tourists from around the globe and has helped to make Bavaria's folk culture of dirndls, lederhosen and beer world-famous.

The visitor record was in 1985, when 7.1 million flocked to the festival.

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