The Massive Amount Of Beer That Is Actually Consumed During Oktoberfest

For many beer lovers, the annual Oktoberfest folk festival held in Munich, Germany, in late September and early October is a bucket-list event. What started in 1810 as a royal wedding celebration is now the world's largest and oldest beer festival (via Insider), a 16-day celebration that involves a lot of beer drinking, eating, and carousing while wearing lederhosen and dirndl dresses.

With 14 massive tents, some with more than 10,000 seats, and 20 smaller tents (via TripSavvy), a lot of beer is served throughout the festival. Just how much beer is consumed? According to "Today", a whopping 7.5 million liters, or nearly 1.98 million gallons, of beer is regularly consumed by patrons, enough to fill up three Olympic-size swimming pools! However, when put in the context of the number of visitors — 6.9 million for 2011 — that's just over one liter per person, which seems rather low when you consider the festival runs for 16 days. 

In 2019, there was a decrease of about 600,000 visitors, but only a slight decrease in the amount of beer consumed with 6.3 million visitors drinking more than 7.3 million liters of beer (via Tischreservierung Oktoberfest).

More beer is consumed worldwide during Oktoberfest

What's also important to keep in mind is that these figures only account for the official Oktoberfest held in Munich and don't take into consideration the many smaller celebrations around the world. According to WalletHub, more than 2,000 barrels of beer were consumed over a weekend at Cincinnati's Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the US (via Culture Trip), which is enough to fill a 20-foot-by-40-foot swimming pool.

Beer lovers will have to wait until at least 2022 if they plan to break the previous record. In sad news for beer fans, Oktoberfest has been canceled for the second year in a row (via Travel & Leisure). In a statement released in May, the Lord Mayor of Munich and the Prime Minister of Bavaria cited the pandemic for canceling what would have been the 187th Oktoberfest, making it the 26th time the event has been canceled since inception (via Oktoberfest website). In the meantime, fans can seek out smaller festivals or grab a few packs of the many seasonal beers that become available in the fall, like Sam Adams Octoberfest. Prost!