Oktoberfest in Munich Needs Bottles, Kegs

Don't panic just yet — but brewers in Munich are running out of bottles, making beer lovers worry

Brewers in Munich are facing a challenge as they prepare for Oktoberfest: they're out of beer bottles to supply the upcoming celebrations.

As both NPR and CNBC re  port, brewers are getting desperate for bottles to serve Oktoberfest drinkers, even asking some to return empty bottles, according to local newspaper accounts. Munich brewers wash and re-use bottles from customers, but Munich drinkers have been slow to return bottles. 

It's becoming a bit of a problem: some brewers are thousands of bottles short behind their production schedule, while others say they're running out of kegs. What does that mean for Oktoberfest? Brewers could start "prioritizing" what beers they sell, which would keep light and wheat beers in production. Dark beer lovers are the ones who might have to worry; the priority production could shelve dark beer those temporarily — and what's a good Oktoberfest without dark beer?

It's a crisis that needs a solution, and fast: NPR reported last year that more than 7.5 million pints were sold at Munich's Oktoberfest.