O'zapft Is!

Hoist a stein!

“It’s tapped!” cried the mayor of Munich on Saturday as he hammered a spigot into the first keg of Oktoberfest 2010, thereby launching Bavaria’s annual and infamous beer fete. Known as one of the world’s biggest parties (more than 6 million people attended last year), Oktoberfest was begun in 1810, so this year marks its 200th anniversary. It is held in the Theresienwiese (Theresa’s meadow), a huge field filled with tents serving beer and weisswurst, and it lasts for two weeks. Every year, kickoff begins at noon, and only the six companies that brew beer within the Munich city limits are allowed to participate (they are Lowenbrau, Spaten, Hacker-Pschorr, Paulaner, Augustiner, and Hofbrauhaus). It’s a big old time, to be sure, and if you feel like celebrating it in your house, click here to find some good German-inspired recipes.

Feeling like busting out the lederhosen?

How about cooking:

Deliciously addictive chicken schnitzel

The perfect grilled beer bratwurst

Homemade baked soft pretzels

Refreshing gurkensalat (cucumber salad, a killer side dish)

Rich and decadent salted-ale caramel chocolates

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