In this second part of the Oktoberfest series we’ll cover the tents, beers, food, and tipping.
The Oktoberfest beer tents all have a slightly different flavor. The main tents were recently written about here if you’d like to have a look at them individually. The fact is, to truly experience the Oktoberfest, you’re going to have to spend a little bit of time in each of the main tents and possibly one of the smaller ones. The temptation will be to get comfortable at one tent and ignore the rest, but by doing so you are limiting your view of the great festival that is the Oktoberfest.
Each tent only serves one brand of beer. The only beers sold at the Oktoberfest are from the “big six” breweries of Munich: Paulanerbräu, Hofbräu, Augustinerbräu, Löwenbräu, Spatenbräu, and Hacker-Pschorrbräu. Everyone has their favorite (mine is Paulaner), but you can also look here for some vague descriptions. No matter which beer you choose, by most standards they are all some of the best lagers in the world.
All of the tents serve food, but the offering is certainly different from tent to tent. Rotesserie style chicken is the de facto food of choice at the Oktoberfest, although other typical Bavarian specialties such as pork knuckle, fish roasted on a stick, and ox sandwiches are also on hand. In fact, most normal carnival food can be found just outside the tents in the main pedestrian areas. Prices are higher here than anywhere in town, but the food is usually good at all of the tents at the Oktoberfest.
Tipping is expected at the Oktoberfest, although usually nothing substantial. Normal tipping for Germany is approximately 10%. If you’re only geting drinks then you typically just round up (possibly a little more if you’d like to see the waiter/waitress in the next couple hours).