8 Kinds of People You’ll Find in Beer Halls

1. The small girl who can drink a beer faster than anyone.
You’ll know her when you see her – wearing a child-sized dirndl, hair in plaits – but don’t be fooled by her appearance. She’s literally drinking men twice her size under the table.

2. The beer wench.
Beer wenches come in all shapes and sizes but have one thing in common: they can all carry unbelievable amounts of beer – up to 17 one-litre steins at a time, each. Don’t make the mistake of being disloyal to your wench after she serves your table. These women are fiercely territorial, and hell hath no fury like a beer wench scorned. Not just any old German can be a beer wench –  it is a role won through birth-right only, an honour bestowed by aunts and mothers on younger generations of females.

3. Guy standing on the table skulling a beer.
They will crop up throughout the day. Always a foreigner who stands on top of the table, dishevelled Lederhosen slipping off his shoulders, encouraging the jeering crowd to chant him on while he skulls a beer, only to be politely escorted from the beer hall immediately afterwards.

4. The sing-along guy (aka the one man choir).
The raucous atmosphere of Oktoberfest is thanks to the fact that there is always a big German band in the middle of the halls, playing German drinking songs to help the festivities along. Occasionally they will throw in their takes on classic Western pub covers (500 Miles, anyone?), at which point the foreigners seize their moment to shine. In every group, there’s always one guy or gal who knows all the songs and screams in your ear in a companionable fashion, arm around your shoulder, slurring in your face and sloshing their stein all over you.

5. The dreamer.
They almost made it, but they pre-gamed too hard. Occasionally they raise their head, only to put it straight back on the table. Their friends will try to prop them up for the duration of a particularly rousing song, a la Weekend at Bernie’s. You may say they’re a dreamer, but they’re not the only one. We don’t know if they’re having a good time or not, but at least they’re there, and can show the folks at home their Insta pics of them having the best time ever in the beer halls.

6. The gate-keeper
He’s not always there, but when the tents begin to fill on those busy days, the gatekeeper will appear. He stands at the front and decides who shall pass, drip-feeding the crowd into the halls. He don’t discriminate. If your group fits the number he needs, you’re in. (Hint: hold your hand up and display with your fingers the number in your group. He may hold the keys to endless fun, but he can’t read your mind.

7. The minesweeper.
The minesweeper may have fallen on tough times, or perhaps they just hate seeing wastage. Either way, you’ll see the minesweeper peering around sheepishly before skulling whatever warm, half-drunk steins they can find. The joy of minesweeping is that you never know what extra surprises you’ll find floating in there, e.g. Hans’ regurgitated breakfast pretzel.

8. The Stokie.
An eclectic group, a Stokie can be one or all of the people mentioned above. You’ll find us perpetually wandering in search of the party, scattered between the campsite and the beer halls. We can’t find the party because we are the party, which is very confusing. Join us.