Speed Reads


Don't be that guy: A visual etiquette guide to enjoying (and possibly remembering) Oktoberfest

Willkommen zum Oktoberfest! Starting today, Munich, Germany, is home to the biggest beer-drinking fair in the world. For 16 days, some 6 million people will eat Bavarian treats, go on rides, and buy souvenirs. But, mainly, they'll consume an astounding amount of beer served in cartoonishly large steins (that you are not allowed to take home with you, though you can purchase them.).

It is, without a doubt, a hot mess. But that doesn't mean you have to be! If you're heading to Oktoberfest and hoping to get the most out of it and possibly a few hazy memories, follow these five simple rules:

Don't be the sloppiest guy in the beer hall. You're a stein away from passing out, but until you get there you're like Godzilla in Tokyo without any sense of how loud, stinky, and destructive you are. Even the drunk people around you wish you'd just topple over already. So just stop.

(Gideon Mendel/Corbis)

Don't shoot the boot. Come on, you know exactly where that shoe has been — attached to your swollen, sweaty, beer-infused foot for the past 48 hours. And while you may think you look cool in this spontaneous one-up-manship, the grimace that scrunches your up face like Sloth from Goonies begs to differ.

(AP Photo/Camay Sungu)

Don't pee where you party. Here we are, just enjoying ourselves in the open air and then you go and relieve yourself just a few feet from our comfortable huddle. What gives, dude? While peeing outdoors at such a festival is probably unavoidable, do everyone a favor and go where no one can hear, see, or smell you. Or, better yet, find an actual bathroom.

(Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis)

Don't be a dead weight. What are we supposed to do with you now? Sure, passing out may have quieted the sloppy beast you were a stein ago, but now you're just a literal dead weight your buddies have to cart around all day. So, how about next time you slow it down a bit, eat a pretzel between beers 8 and 9, and maybe you'll remember at least a few hours of this day shared with your few-thousand closest friends.

(Michael S. Yamashita/Corbis)

Don't be the drunk loner. You're just never going to make your best impression drunk and alone. There's no one to check your weird, uninhibited behavior. Who's going to remind you to put a shirt on, tell you not to eat the hot dog off of the sodden floor, or that you're staring way too long at that pretty beer maid? Exactly. Now more than ever, you need help. So, whether you're half-awake or about to pass out, find a buddy or a group and stick with them.

(Michael S. Yamashita/Corbis)

Otherwise, be nice, let loose, don't embarrass yourself too much, and you might just have a fun, (somewhat) memorable Oktoberfest. Cheers!