Plastic Oktoberfest

Munich beer tent may replace glass mugs; breweries outraged

Mar 12, 2005 - One beer garden at Munich's famed Oktoberfest is ready to serve beer in plastic cups next September, but the city's breweries are outraged.


Wiggerl Hagn, who runs the Löwenbräu tent, said that he is tired of clean up broken glass and listening to waitresses complain about hauling mugs that hold 1.5 liters of beer and weight a kilogram (2.2 pounds) empty.

"We cleaned up almost 26 tons of broken glass on the floor of my tent," Hagn told a Munich newspaper. "The waitresses won't have to carry such heavy loads anymore."

He did admit there are drawbacks to the change. Glasses banged together in toasting will not click, but instead go "plop." Ttradition will suffer," he said.

Hagn plans first to try the idea out at his own beer garden before trying in an Oktoberfest beer hall. "We'll have to wait and see what the patrons think," he said.

Calling it an "absurd idea", Toni Roiderer, a spokesman for the city's breweries, said Hagn had been warned he would have to go it alone. "Here in Bavaria, beer is a cultural treasure. When we sit together and chink glasses, the sound is like our church bells, a symbol of harmony and good cheer," said Roiderer.

"If you can't stand broken glass, then you should serve it in cartons with a straw!" he added sarcastically.

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