Records and obscure numbers from Oktoberfest history

Be amusedand amazed by statistics that you’ll probably only find at the Oktoberfest.

As much beer as never before: On it’s 100th anniversary, the most beer ever - until then - was drunk: 12.000 hectolitres.

The longest break: From the years 1939 to 1948, there was no Oktoberfest - 10 years without the Wiesn! First, there was no Oktoberfest because of World War II and in the years after the war it was replaced by the significantly smaller “Herbstfest”.

The most visitors came to an anniversary Wiesn: In 1985, 7.1 million people visited the Oktoberfest. Even though the 1985 Oktoberfest was only the 151. Oktoberfest because of the  24 cancelled Oktoberfests, the traditional event had been created 175 years ago.

Regular Oktoberfest visitor Karl Sorg made an annual portrait of himself at the "Fotoschießen", a shooting gallery where a good hit triggers a camera, from 1960 to 1983.

Mysterious fun fact: The anniversary years 1835 (25 year of Oktoberfest), 1910 (100 years) and 1985 (175 years) were also years when Halley’s comet passed Earth.

All eights: In 1908 Carl Gabriel presented Germany’s first roller coaster, in the followed by Max Stehbeck the next year with the Oktoberfest’s first “Figue-8-Ride”.

In 1880 a carney applied for a spot at the Oktoberfest with a trained family of dogs. The highly gifted spitzes could dance, play cards and also recognize all reigning leaders of Europe on photographies.

Abusive drinking is something that fortunately barely happens at the Oktoberfest. There are however official records of such events: The Gentlemen I. and M. Hager were awarded a certificate for downing 10 measures of beer at the Lang beer stand.

Gender reassignment by alcohol? On old postcards, even children were often depicted drinking beer. This also included Munich’s city mascot “Das Münchner Kindl”, a kid in a monk’s robe. Until the 1930ies that kid monk was a boy and then changed into a girl!

You can hardly visit the Oktoberfest without hearing the toast "Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit", commanding everybody to drink. Established at the Oktoberfest by 1912, it was not created by a guest from Munich but from Chemnitz, far away in the northeast of Germany.

The ceremony of tapping the first barrel of beer has become one of the most popular traditions at the Oktoberfest. It was founded by mayor Thomas Wimmer in 1950, making it almost as important for the reputation of a Munich mayor as getting elected in the first place, as people started counting the number of strikes needed to drive the spigot into the barrel with a wooden hammer. During his first Oktoberfest, former mayor Christian Ude kept bludgeoning the barrel with a seemingly endless 7 strikes. But Ude kept on trying and soon managed to tap the barrels with a stunning 2 strikes only. His successor Dieter Reiter needed 4 strokes on his first try.