For beer lovers around the world, this is a bittersweet time of year. While the 2020 Oktoberfest celebrations are dated from September 19th to October 4th the official Volksfest celebration in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, has been cancelled due to the pandemic.
Munich's Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter noted:
"It's a quite sad day for me today, several hearts are beating in my chest. The fact that the Wiesn 2020 cannot take place is a bitter pill to swallow. We hope that next year we can make it up together!"
As lovers of German beer and in order to keep the spirit of the festival alive, we have compiled a list of interesting facts and information about the Oktoberfest which will keep you entertained. If you are looking for fantastic online slots’ entertainment, we have included several top-notch Oktoberfest-themed games.
What is the Oktoberfest?
As outrageous as this may sound, we have a royal wedding to thank for the cultural behemoth that is the Oktoberfest.
King Ludwig I married to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on October 12th, 1810, and the ensuing festivities were held in open fields named Theresienwiese ("Theresa's Meadow") in honour of the newly crowned queen.
In honour of the auspicious occasion, it was decided to make the celebrations an annual event which the locals simply began to refer to as Wiesn. The original selection of sporting events held on the day was also expanded over the years to include horse racing, tree climbing, lawn bowling and other competitions where participants could win prizes of silver, porcelain, and even jewellery.
This aspect of the festival is said to have to so impressed visiting Greek delegates that it became the inspiration of the Zappas Olympics, the global sporting event we know today as the Olympic Games.
The festival was later used as a tool for sharing the values and wonder of Bavarian culture with a particular emphasis on its fashion, food, and of course excellent beer craft
What Qualifies as German Festival Beer?
One of the cornerstones of the Munich Oktoberfest is the adherence to the Reinheitsgebot which translates as ‘purity order’. Given that the festival was a platform by which to evangelise the quality of the traditional German beer the 1516 Bavarian Law outlined not only the requirements for which beers may be sold at the festival but also its price and the penalty for any transgressions.
In short, the order stated that:
Festival beer may only be made from barley, hops and water – this allowed them to stop the inclusion of problematic herbs like belladonna, henbane and stinging nettle while not impact the local cost of bread production which required wheat and rye.
Any person caught selling non-regulation beers would have their entire stash confiscated as a matter of law
The sale price per litre was established as either one or two Pfennig, region dependant, with tavern owners allowed to only increase the price by one third when reselling beer to “the common peasantry”.
Adjustments have been made to the modern Reinheitsgebot to allow for the inclusion of grains and organic products to aid in fermentation. That being said only beer following the modernised order and brewed within Munich will be served during the official Munich Oktoberfest.
There are only six breweries who have the approval to produce and label their beers as official ‘Oktoberfest Beer’, and these are:
Thankfully for beer aficionados, these companies do ship their beers internationally, allowing you to savour each festival’s selection beers without having to leave the comfort of your home.
A Celebration in Honour of Unification
One of the oddities of the Oktoberfest is that despite its name, it is now held from mid to late September to the early part of October. This is done to celebrate the historic reunification of East and West Germany which took place in 1990 after 45 years of segregation.
While the festival would historically run until the first Sunday in October it now runs until German Unity Day which is 3 October, to remind Germany and the world of hope and that we are all stronger when we stand with rather than against one another.
What is Oide Wiesn?
For the uninitiated, there is often some confusion what d’Wiesn and Oide Wiesn are, especially given that they run over the same time period and both take place on the same fairgrounds.
In simple terms, Oide Wiesn is a return to the roots of what d’Wiesn was always meant to be, a more relaxed, tradition-driven, beer garden styled festival. To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the festival 2010 saw a once-off Historisches Oktoberfest (Historical Oktoberfest) erected as a showcase of “the good old days”. However, it was such a hit with festival-goers that they demanded it to be installed into the event each year.
This area of the festival offers visitors beers not covered in company logos, traditional unamplified music, retro entertainment such as chain swings, petting zoos and even the simple sugary enjoyment of cotton candy.
The Oide Wiesn also closes for the day at 8pm, allowing it's more family orientated supporters to make their way home before the more frenetic partying of the Wiesn gets into full swing.
Oktoberfest Themed Video Slots
With the travel bans which are currently in place you can celebrate the Oktoberfest at home by trying some of your locally available German beers and cuisine. If you prefer to stay socially distanced, we have selected three fantastic slot machines loaded with Oktoberfest themes and imagery which will keep you entertained.
✓Lucky Oktoberfest by Red Tiger
Red Tiger brings you one of the best slots for Wiesn fans in Lucky Oktoberfest. The game opens with two beer steins clinking and foam flying as the band strikes up a merry tune.
Lucky Oktoberfest slot offers high variance entertainment across 5-reels and 10 fixed ways to win with an RTP of 94.68%. The reason for this the fact that the pays out up to 5000x your bet and offers a maximum stake of €20 for a jackpot potential of €100,000!
The reels are filled with classic German beer festival imagery including feathered hats, beer barrels, pretzels and two locals named Hans and Helga. Get spinning today to get in on the action.
✓Heidi at the Oktoberfest by Red Rake Gaming
Red Rake Gaming invites you to enjoy the sights and sounds of their Heidi at the Oktoberfest online slot. The gorgeous blonde local will be your host and serve up winning spins as you enjoy the ambient sounds of the festival.
This medium variance video slot is played across 5 reels and 50 fixed ways to win offering at RTP of 94.9%. Collecting Heidi symbols on the reels will put you in position to claim up to 200 free spins and the chance to claim the slot machines maximum payout of €100,000.
Each new spin of the reels will see the screen fill with beer steins, accordions, beer kegs, pretzels and of course the lovely Heidi as you enjoy all that Red Rake Gaming has to offer.
✓Oktoberfest Spins by 888 Gaming
Get into the festival spirit with 888 Gaming and Oktoberfest Spins video slot. The slot will have you cheering for jackpot wins as you enjoy the ambient sounds and rousing music of a traditional Munich Oktoberfest.
Oktoberfest Spins is a medium to high variance online slot that unfolds across 5 reels and 25 fixed ways to win. The game offers players the added excitement of a randomly triggered progressive jackpot which requires no special symbols combinations to unlock, just pure chance. It also offers the chance of a free ‘Refill’ spin on any non-winning game you play.
To complete your Oktoberfest experience the reels are filled with beer stein’s, bottled beers, pretzels, German sausages and a cheeky Daschund who triggers the bonus game that offers win multipliers of up to 33x!