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Oktoberfest is the German version of St. Patrick's Day, the Bavarian Mardi Gras, the Teutonic Cinco de Mayo -- whatever Oktoberfest is, it has begun and will continue for a month. (Yeah, it starts before October even begins.) Too bad it's not year-round, because Oktoberfest drinking is better than "normal" drinking in so many ways...
1. Serving Sizes
For most of the year, we drink beer in reasonable portions: 12-ounce cans or bottles, perhaps a full pint, maybe even a pitcher amongst friends. The second Oktoberfest arrives, though, it's time to super-size it. Suddenly "a beer" equals a full liter, and with seven million liters to polish off, you've gotta do your part.
2. Serving Vessels
But it's not like these liters come in boring logoed glassware. Oh no, Oktoberfest beer must be served in hilarious drinking vessels. From massive-handled mugs to hefty ceramic flip-top steins to, of course, the apex of drinking vessels: The beer boot.
3. Who's Serving It
For most of the year, we're stuck with 'roided-up male bartenders and aloof female ones. Luckily, Oktoberfest turns waitresses into Deutschland's Hooters girls, scantily clad in dirndls with tight bodices and heaving bosoms, yet with enough arm strength to bring a round of liters for the table. We're already in liebe.
4. Drinking Hours
Let's be honest: Most of our daytime hours are spent clock-watching, just waiting for the time when it's finally "appropriate" to crack that first beer. Guess what? When it's Oktoberfest, there's only one test for whether it's officially drinking time: Are you awake?
5. The Food
If you're drinking liters of beer, you're going to get hungry. Good thing Oktoberfest meals don't waste much time on bulls**t, otherwise known as "vegetables." Schnitzel, sauerbraten and lots and lot of tubed meats that end in "-wurst." Still feeling like you need some veggies in your diet? Try a giant pretzel, bud.
6. Seating Arrangements
At normal bars, you're forced into a cramped booth in a dark corner of the room, and if you talk to strangers, they'll probably think you're a creep. Oktoberfest, on the other hand, is like a giant drunken picnic. You're expected to sit at a long, giant table, mingling with fellow drinkers and making new friends. Guten tag!