Annual Celebration Price Cap Could Come for Oktoberfest Beer

The cost of a liter at the world’s largest beer festival has gone up steadily over the years, but Munich’s mayor wants to set a limit.
Quelle: dpa
The price of the iconic one-liter beer mug served at Oktoberfest jumped by 23 percent between 2010 and 2016.
(Source: dpa)

Oktoberfest, Munich's annual celebration of beer, amusement park rides and traditional Bavarian garb, is as much known for the entertainment as it is for being expensive. However a big break could be coming for upcoming revelers, as Munich's mayor has just suggested capping the price of beer per liter over the next three years, according to the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Oktoberfest's website documents the price of a "Maß" – the large one-liter mugs ubiquitous across Bavarian beer halls and the festival's multifarious drinking tents – as increasing almost every year since 1971. In 2010, a Maß cost around €8.30 to €8.90, and in 2016 topped out at €10.70, an increase of around 23 percent.

Munich's mayor Josef Schmid has proposed a cap of €10.70, or $11,30, to be put in place until 2019. The announcement comes as part of a complete financial restructuring for the Wiesn, as Oktoberfest is colloquially called. City officials were slapped with higher security costs last year in light of recent terror attacks. In 2016, Munich spent five million euros – around three million euros more than in past years – on safety measures for the celebrations in late September after three bloody incidents rocked the Bavarian state in July.

At Oktoberfest, €300 to 400 million are being turned over every year Josef Schmid, Munich Mayor

Mr. Schmid is calling for the burden of security costs to be taken off of government and transferred to beer-selling tents via a revenue leasing agreement.

"At Oktoberfest, €300 to 400 million are being turned over every year, and there is no reason for the city and the taxpayer to jump in," he told Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Introducing a price cap would be to prevent tents, traditionally headed up by Bavarian breweries such as Paulaner and Löwenbräu, from passing costs onto festival-goers.

Mr. Schmid has yet to formally bring the idea to government. He also told the newspaper he was confident tents would still make enough profit to shoulder additional expenses, but that Oktoberfest could also be extended by an extra day just in case.