That’s right, folks. There’s a German beer festival out there that is hot on the tail of Oktoberfest for the biggest opening weekend. I’m talking about the Stuttgart Beer Festival – a much lesser-known beer fest but one that is growing in popularity each year.
While Oktoberfest is undoubtedly the world’s largest, annual attendance at the Stuttgart Beer Festival (known in German as Cannstatter Volksfest) keeps growing and growing and growing. Much like your belly after sausage and sausage and sausage. And understandably so, this festival just might be better than Oktoberfest itself.
The Stuttgart Beer Festival takes place each year around the same time as Oktoberfest but starts and ends a week later, allowing thirsty travelers like yourself to visit them back-to-back.
It’s a more “local” festival in that very few tourists attend (or even know about it). However, word is spreading about this super fun alternative to Oktoberfest.
In 2016, the Stuttgart Beer Festival reported an opening weekend attendance of over one million visitors. That same year, Oktoberfest’s opening weekend saw half the attendance of Cannstatter Volksfest. That’s virtually unheard-of!
Though weather conditions and security concerns may have played a part in that, there’s no denying the Stuttgart Beer Festival is only getting more popular. After all, it’s a different kind of party than Oktoberfest. Adherence to “tradition” is much less strict, the beer tents offer full bars with liquor, wine, and bubbly in addition to only beer, the bands are more about the par-tay and less about the polka, and, with fewer foreign tourists, the shenanigans are kept to a minimum.
The Stuttgart Beer Festival, though not nearly as well-known as Oktoberfest but almost just as old, still sees four million visitors annually. And each year that number goes up. Will the Stuttgart Beer Festival one day out-party Oktoberfest? Stranger things have happened! (Specifically inside the beer tents. We’ve seen them.)
The Stuttgart Beer Festival is growing in popularity among travelers who fear Oktoberfest may be too overwhelming, those who prefer to root for the underdog, trailblazers who want to go somewhere their friends may not have been before, and those who have already been to Oktoberfest a few times and want to see what else is out there.
And trust us when we say: the Stuttgart Beer Festival is quite different from Oktoberfest. Sure, there are beer tents and beer liters, live bands and bratwurst, carnival rides, dirndls and lederhosen, and many of the traditional volksfest characteristics. But the only way to understand is to experience it for yourself.