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It's tapped: Beer flows as Oktoberfest opens in Munich

Last Updated Sep 22, 2018 at 7:40 am EDT

Markus Soeder, governor of the German state of Bavaria, attends the tapping of the first barrel of beer by Munich's mayor Dieter Reiter as part of the opening of the 185th 'Oktoberfest' beer festival in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018. The world's largest beer festival will be held from Sept. 22 until Oct. 7, 2018. (Peter Kneffel/dpa via AP)

MUNICH – The first keg has been tapped and the beer is flowing as the 185th Oktoberfest gets underway in Munich.

Mayor Dieter Reiter inserted the tap in the first keg on Saturday with two blows of a hammer and the cry of “O’zapft is” — “it’s tapped.” As tradition demands, he handed the first mug to Bavarian governor Markus Soeder, who declared that “the Oktoberfest is perhaps Bavaria’s biggest and best visiting card in the world.”

Around 6 million visitors are expected at the festival grounds in Munich before the Oktoberfest ends on Oct. 7. As in previous years, backpacks and large bags are banned for security reasons.

Beer prices are up again, with a litre (2-pint) mug costing up to 11.50 euros ($13.50) — a 55-cent increase over last year.