Thursday, 29 September 2016

Oktoberfest visitors are ripped off more than ever, says consumer group

The venerable Munich-based beer consumer group Verein gegen betrügerisches Einschenken e.V. (Association Against Fraudulent Bier-Pouring) has once again hit out at the scandal of short pours at the city’s famous Oktoberfest beer festival.

The litre of beer at the festival, at between EUR10.40 and EUR10.70, is already significantly more expensive than elsewhere in Munich, and costs nearly twice as much as a Maß in the countryside. Drinkers always complain about the extortionate price, of course, but you might think that for the money you’d at least get a full litre in your glass. Not a chance, for the Wiesn is also notorious for short measures.

For many years the VGBE has carried out its own “People’s Pour Check” (Volksschankkontrolle) at the Oktoberfest. This year 40 volunteers bought 67 beers in the 13 big festival tents. The results showed that drinkers were being robbed of an average of 15% of the beer they’d paid for, with the average “litre” containing just 850ml of beer. In 2013 the average Maß was “only” 10% short.

The worst offender was the “Schützenfestzelt” tent, where the average glass contained only 770ml – stealing EUR2.40 worth of beer from the customer.

The VGBE estimates that over the course of the festival the short measure amounts to over six million Euro worth of beer which drinkers never receive in their steins.

The group accused the city’s trading standards authorities of failing in their duty, as they claimsto carry out their own checks, but never publish the results.