Unfortunately, Munich's famed Oktoberfest, and Oktoberfest celebrations all over the world aren’t happening this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. And while it's impossible to duplicate the atmosphere (do you really want to pour beer all over your floor?) here are some ways to have your own Oktoberfest at home. And then go sleep in your own bed.

How to Have Oktoberfest At Home

German Oktoberfest Beer

It would be pretty silly if we didn't start this list with the beer. While a true Oktoberfest beer (or festbier) can only be called as such if it's made at one of six breweries within Munich's city limits, many of them are widely available outside of the tents. Paulaner, Löwenbräu, Hacker-Pschorr, Spaten, and Hofbräu and Augustiner are easy to get your hands on. 

By the Maß

A Maß is a unit of measurement in Bavaria, roughly about a litre of beer. For the true Oktoberfest experience, we suggest grabbing some Maß glasses, or steins as they're known outside of Bavaria, to serve your beer in. We can't be held responsible for your sore wrist the next day.

Oktoberfest Food

If you're looking for the "gotta-haves", we suggest making sure your menu includes rotisserie chicken, brez'n (huge, doughy pretzels), red cabbage or sauerkraut, potatoes and, of course, bratwurst mit brötchen. A currywurst is a great option for a snack too--just sprinkle some of your favourite curry powder over ketchup and smother your bratwurst with it.

So, pretty much starch and meat.

What to Wear To Oktoberfest

We all know you can't even begin to pretend that you're having an Oktoberfest party if you're not wearing the right outfit. Men have it relatively easy--find some lederhosen and a trachten shirt and get ready to party (socks and a hat can complete the outfit). Women, on the other hand, have some choices to make: if wearing a dirndl, the more authentic styles have longer skirts--below the knees--called a "midi". Tourists and younger ladies tend to wear a "mini". The dirndlblusen (white blouse under the dirndl) can come in varying levels of, ahem, "exposure". But whatever you do, make sure your apron's knot is tied correctly: taken women tie theirs on the right while those who are single--and ready to mingle--tie it on the left. Tied in the back? She's a widow or your waitress. Hands off the ones with it tied on the front--she's a virgin.

Don't feel like going through all that? Then this shirt will do: Löwenbräu Oktoberfest T-Shirt

Virtual Oktoberfest Parties

Okay, obviously it’s not the same as being there in person, but if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we need to make the best with what we have! Here’s a few ways you can celebrate without the pandemic getting in the way:

  • Oktoberfest Zoom party. At this point we’re all pros at Zoom and other virtual meeting tools. You can even try out this free Oktoberfest Zoom background!
  • Take a virtual, private Oktoberfest tour. Join one of Oktoberfest’s most seasoned tour guides as he walks you through the history, beers, and long traditions as they relate to the world’s most beloved beer festival.
  • Celebrate at home with your family. Enjoy a beer delivery to your doorstep, crack open an Oktoberfest with your loved ones, and cross your fingers for a big celebration next year!

What Music is Played at Oktoberfest?

It's not a party without music. And it's certainly not Oktoberfest without some foot-stomping, bench-dancing, beer-spilling tunes. While your traditional Oompah music would definitely go down a storm, here's some of our favourites from the fest that should make it on your playlist:

Sweet Caroline--Neil Diamond

Mamma Mia--ABBA

Sweet Home Alabama--Lynyrd Skynyrd

I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)--The Proclaimers

Hey Baby--Bruce Channel

Tubthumping (I Get Knocked Down)--Chumbawamba

It's Raining Men--The Weather Girls

Take Me Home, Country Roads--John Denver

Hang On Sloopy--The McCoys

I'm Walking On Sunshine--Katrina and the Waves

If all else fails, here's an Oktoberfest playlist that Spotify has put together for this grand occasion.

The Toast

And finally, knowing the words to arguably the most important Oktoberfest song is imperative. Played at least every 20 minutes, "Ein Prosit" is the most played German drinking song at Oktoberfest. Stand on that bench, swing that stein and pay no attention to the beer you just spilled down the front of yourself--just make sure you sing along!

Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
Der Gemütlichkeit
Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
Der Gemütlichkeit.

OANS! ZWOA! DREI! G'SUFFA!

We can't be together in person, but we can still drink together from afar! The Oktoberfest beer has been brewed and is ready to be enjoyed. Prost!