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Hacker-Pschorr tent at Oktoberfest in Munich

Kathryn and I were able to spend part of a day at Oktoberfest in Munich in 2007. It seems everyone who has been to Oktoberfest has a favorite from among the major beer tents. My favorite is the Hacker-Pschorr tent. The theme is charming and simple: Bavarian heaven.

To call this structure a “tent” is fairly misleading. It’s a permanent building. The only part that appears to be made of canvas is the section of the roof over the seating area. The canvas roof lets in natural light from the outside, giving the place a heavenly glow, at least on the sunny September day when we visited.

Inside the Hacker-Pschorr tent at Oktoberfest in Munich

Inside the Hacker-Pschorr tent at Oktoberfest in Munich

The Hacker-Pschorr tent reportedly seats over 9,000 people, but the day we were there — the second day of Oktoberfest, a Sunday — there wasn’t a seat to be found. In fact, if we’d come back a little later, we probably wouldn’t have been allowed in the tent at all. Most of the tables had been reserved months in advance by people who were willing to prepay a certain amount of beer and food. The rest of the seats filled up early in the morning.

Still, we were pleased to get inside the tent and have a look around at all the advance planners making merry — drinking Oktoberfest beer a liter at a time, dancing on the benches, singing along with the oom-pah music, and so on.

Our friend Sigrid, with whom we were staying in Munich, suggested we find a smaller tent for our food and drink. They tend to be somewhat quieter and not fill up as quickly. In the end, yours truly wasn’t forced to leave without hoisting down a delicious, intoxicating Oktoberfest brew.