With euro sliding, US tourists may get a break at Oktoberfest 2010 in Munich


Munich’s Oktoberfest will charge 2.5 percent more for beer this year on average, though U.S. tourists planning a trip to the 200-year-old beer festival may still get a break because of the euro’s slide against the dollar.

Breweries will charge between 8.30 euros ($10.20) and 8.90 euros for a liter, or “mass,” of beer — equivalent to about a quarter gallon — at this year’s Oktoberfest from Sept. 18 to Oct. 4, the city of Munich said today on its website. Last year’s prices ranged from 8.10 euros to 8.60 euros.

The price increase defies near-zero inflation as the German economy struggles to grow. Still, the European debt crisis may ease the financial burden on Lederhosen-clad beer lovers exchanging dollars because the single currency has lost 16 percent of its value against dollar since Oktoberfest 2009.

On the final day of last year’s Oktoberfest, Oct. 4, a beer set a U.S. tourist back as much as $12.54. Based on today’s trading, a beer sold at this year’s Oktoberfest would cost no more than $10.95 at the high end of the range.

Should the euro fall to parity with the dollar, as suggested by economists including BNP Paribas SA’s Hans-Guenter Redeker, an American Oktoberfest visitor would pay almost 30 percent less for beer — even with the price increase.

Oktoberfest was first celebrated in 1810, to honor Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The festival was gradually moved into September to take advantage of the warmer weather. About 6.5 million liters of beer and 111 oxen were consumed at last year’s beer festival, which generated 800 million euros in revenue, according to the festival’s website.