• Hygiene
  • 05.07.2024
  • 4 min

Oktoberfest 2024: Beer prices, beer mugs and hygienic washing

The date has been set: Oktoberfest will take place in Munich from September 21 to October 6, 2024. Once again this year, two important questions will be asked in the run-up to the event. How much does a Maß of Wiesnbier cost? And: How clean are the beer glasses, beer mugs and beer steins really? The first question can be answered quickly: At Oktoberfest 2024, the price of a Maß of beer will be between €13.60 and €15.30. We will address the hygiene issue in more detail below.

Diagram showing the price trend for a Maß Wiesnbier from 2018 to 2023
Diagram showing the development of beer consumption at Oktoberfest from 2018 to 2023

The challenge: 30,000 beer mugs per hour.

It is one of the largest festivals in the world: every year, around 6 million visitors from all over the world attend the Munich Oktoberfest on the Theresienwiese. And their favourite tradition when they visit: drinking beer from beer mugs. These mugs then have to be very quickly washed and be ready to use again as quickly as possible. Over 30,000 mugs per hour are used. A normal commercial warewasher cannot meet these high demands. A wash cycle of this kind of quantity takes too long and as the glasses are rinsed with hot water, they come out of the machine hot. Not ideal for a nice cold beer.

The solution: a special single-tank flight warewasher.

Warewashing specialist Winterhalter has addressed this problem and developed a mobile glasswasher for beer mugs especially for the extreme Oktoberfest requirements: the STF Bavaria. It can handle the enormous quantities of beer glasses and mugs and can wash up to 2,800 mugs hygienically clean in one hour. This means that almost every second a cleanly rinsed beer mug comes out of the machine – and it's nice and cool. This is because the STF Bavaria uses cold fresh water for rinsing. The cold rinse means that the mugs can be refilled straight away, the head of the beer stays stable and bar service runs smoothly!

Front view of the STF Bavaria beer mug glasswasher from Winterhalter

The mobile glasswasher for beer mugs

From the Munich Oktoberfest to the Cannstatter Wasen, the Kieler Woche, the Hamburger Dom and Allgäu Festival Week, beer tents and beer gardens: with a capacity of up to 2,800 beer mugs per hour, the STF Bavaria mobile glasswasher provides impressive washing speeds at major events – with full hygiene safety in accordance with DIN 10511!

To the glasswasher

How does cold rinsing work at Oktoberfest?

Oktoberfest is a special event and cannot be compared with a normal catering establishment. The biggest difference is that the beer mugs are not stored after washing, but are immediately refilled. It is then possible to use cold water washing as an alternative to hot washing. Using a detergent with a higher chlorine content that is specifically designed for this purpose, cold water can then be used not only for rinsing, but also for the main wash. This means that the mugs are cleaned very quickly, come out of the machine cold and can be used again immediately. And if something goes wrong with the glasswashing technology, the service team can be on site within a few minutes – another difference to normal foodservice operations.

The Vereinigung der Münchener Wiesnwirte ("Association of Munich Oktoberfest Innkeepers") ensures that the cold washing systems meet the highest hygiene standards and that the beer mugs are cleaned and disinfected in accordance with the applicable operating regulations for the Oktoberfest. The City of Munich's Department of Health and Environmental Protection also takes random samples every day to check that beer glasses and mugs are hygienic. This includes an official evaluation by the Bayerische Landesamt für Gesundheit und Lebensmittelsicherheit (Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety, LGL). You can find more information on this in this statement from the Association of Munich Oktoberfest Innkeepers.

Good to know

Winterhalter has carried out lots of in-house testing on cold water washing in its own research laboratory, simulating the real conditions at the Munich Oktoberfest. The tests confirmed that cold rinsing under these special conditions delivers hygienically perfect wash results. As long as it is a professional glasswasher such as the STF Bavaria, which operates faultlessly and is run professionally.

Beer mug glasswasher in 24-hour service

The worst-case scenario for any festival organiser would be a breakdown of warewashing technology or a bottleneck in logistics. Winterhalter customers can relax and concentrate on the essentials. After all, one of the warewashing specialist's great strengths is service – and Oktoberfest is the best proof of this.

Two service teams from Winterhalter are on site throughout the festival. They work a two-shift operation and are available to the festival organisers around the clock. A special service hotline means that the technicians can reach their customers very quickly and provide "first aid" for all glasswashing issues. Repairs can be carried out quickly as there is storage on the premises with all the important spare parts.