The Maß – FAQ and interesting facts about the popular Maß serving size

In the following article, our Hotel Oktoberfest has compiled interesting facts about the famous Maß and answers the most frequently asked questions, such as how large a Maß actually is and how to spell it correctly.

What is a Maß?

A Maß is a serving unit for liquids that originally encompassed 1.069 litres. Over time, the amount has evolved and today it is exactly one litre.

A Maß, a Mass or a Mas?

So how do you spell the famous and renown Maß correctly? There is no uniform spelling, the ‘Maß’ is just as correct as the ‘Mass’; the spelling varies depending on the region and German state. But the serving size is generally not spelled ‘Mas’.

And how do you properly pronounce Maß? Maß is pronounced with a short a and sharp s, sort of like ‘brass’ or ‘boss’, simply with an m at the start. If you order a ‘Maaaß’ at the Oktoberfest you will immediately out yourself as a tourism.

The measurement unit ‘Maß/Mass’ is linguistically derived from the Middle High German word ‘diu (= die) maze.’ In fact, it was actually pronounced with a long a at that time. That is no longer the case today.

How much does a Maß weigh?

One litre of beer corresponds to about one kilogram and an empty beer mug weighs about 1300 grams. Hence a full Maß of beer weighs 2300 grams.

Fitness and the Oktoberfest waitresses

Waitresses inside the Oktoberfest tents often carry 18 beer mugs at a time. That’s an impressive 41.4 kilograms.

Even though we aren’t fans of clichés, we have to admit that men manage a bit more. One gentleman once carried 27 Maß mugs! That’s a total weight of 62.1 kilogram.

The biggest beer mug in the world

The largest beer mug in the world can currently be found in the Bavarian town of Oberviehtach. This world record has been around since 2002. The fact that the largest beer mug is located in Bavaria comes as no surprise for beer and Bavaria have always belonged together after all.

As part of a large community event, numerous volunteers from the Eigelsberg village worked on the beer mug from 2001 – 2002. They invested a total of 700 hours of work on it. The oversized beer mug consists of wood and is painted with beautiful and typical Bavarian motifs. It is over 3.80 metres high, has a diameter of 2 metres and can hold 4,718 litres. The mug was filled for the first time on 11 August 2002. The entry into the Guinness Book of Records as ‘The World’s Biggest Beer Mug’ was the perfect cherry on top. You simply have to see and marvel at the original!

One Maß beers costs…

The prices increase every year. At the moment (October 2018) one Maß costs between 10 and 15 Euro, depending on the pavilion. But the costs shouldn’t scare you off – the Oktoberfest convenes only once a year and the atmosphere and legendary bands are free of charge.

Beer mug – manufacture of the Oktoberfest mug

While the beer mugs at the festival itself are made of glass, you can acquire collector’s mugs from the Oktoberfest to take home with you. The Maß beer mug has remained unchanged in its simple form for more than 100 years. Traditionally, it is manufactured with great care and attention to detail. Merely the body is now produced by machines. Everything else, such as the beautiful paintings and decorations are still made by hand today.

What is your alcohol level after drinking one Maß of beer?

Unfortunately, there is no general answer for that. Factors such as gender, weight, height, empty or full stomach also play a role in this regard. For example: If a man weighing 80 kg drinks a Maß of pale lager in an hour, he most probably has a BAC of 0.081. If a woman who weighs 60 kg drinks a litre of beer within half an hour, she may already have a BAC of 0.127. And don’t forget: at the Oktoberfest, strong beer is served, which is traditionally brewed more strongly and thus has a greater effect on the blood alcohol level!