It is the time of year when Germans take out their Bierseidels, or tankards, don traditional dress and join the pilgrimage to Munich to drink large amounts of beer and party at the annual Oktoberfest.
But this year the festival has been marred by a row over the cost of beer as one group complains prices hikes are driving away local people from the internationally famous festival. In the past 10 years, the average price of a litre has risen from an average of €6.55 to €9.35 (£7.47), according to figures from the Munich city government. "The prices for beer sold during Oktoberfest rise every year without reason," said Jan-Ulrich Bittlinger, president of the Association Against Fraudulent Pouring (VGBE).
While prices were kept relatively low when controlled by the Munich state government, since sellers took over the costs they have increased dramatically, says Bittlinger. The VGBE will be starting a petition on 22 September as Oktoberfest opens in an attempt to push the state to impose a price cap on sellers.
"We should be allowed to have our fun once a year and not have beer prices that are €2 more expensive than what it would cost in a Munich beer garden," said Bittlinger.
But the Munich state has said it has no place in setting the prices for beer in a "free market".
"Moderate beer prices are a concern to the city government and I have an eye on making sure the hosts do not overdo their asking prices," said Dieter Reiter, an officer in the department for labour and economics, responsible for Oktoberfest.
"Everyone should be able to afford their Oktoberfest beer," he added.
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