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The Maßkrug

bier glasses

Bier served at Oktoberfest and in Bavarian Bier halls and restaurants usually come in two sizes: "Large" and "Oh...my...God!".

The Bavarian Maßkrug (pronounced 'moss kroogh' in English), is certainly a sight to behold; especially to anyone who encounters it for the first time. It is made of double-walled dimpled glass, weighs in at around 2 lbs empty and holds one liter of bier. That's 33.8 oz or just under 3 American bottles. The glass extends about two inches above the liter line however to leave room for the head. Contrary to the "American pour", German Biers are poured with a good sized head. This actually releases the aroma of the Bier which is vital to taste!

"Ein Mass" in English literally means "A measure," and ordering one at Oktoberfest couldn't be easier. Just say "Ein Mass bitte". But don't be intimidated the first time your Oktoberfest server slams down between 6 and 12 full glasses at your table. Your first thoughts may be of the cab ride you'll need to get back to the hotel, but rest assured, this is easy-drinking, fun-inducing, Happy-Bier.

Proper Bier drinking etiquette at Oktoberfest requires that during particular songs, all glasses are raised and the song belted out. One of the most popular songs played at all the tents is the German classic "Ein Prosit", which means in English, "A Toast!"

Please get to know these words...

"Ein Prosit"

   Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
   Der Gemütlichkeit.
   Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
   Der Gemütlichkeit.

   Oans, zwoa, drei, g'suffa!

At the conclusion of the song, make sure to give your table mates a hearty "Prost!" and bang your glass into theirs. No need to get crazy but these glasses can stand up to quite a bit. That's not to say that I haven't seen them break.

Zum Wohl!