In April 2023, claims began to spread online that the year's Oktoberfest would not offer Budweiser or Bud Light beer for the first time in 75 years. Over 6 million people traveled to the festival in Munich, Germany, in fall 2022.
"This is pretty sad," a Facebook page, America Loves Donald Trump, posted on April 22, 2023. "Nearly every other beer in the world will be there."
We also found the claim on social media platforms like Reddit and Twitter. One Twitter account that shared the claim belonged to Larry Elder, a conservative radio host who in April 2023 launched a Republican campaign for president.
The rumor surfaced amid a right-wing push to stop buying Bud Light after the company partnered with transgender TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney on an advertising campaign.
Some of the social media posts contained a link to an article by The Dunning-Kruger Times, a website that describes its output as satirical. That page read:
Every year, millions of people travel to the largest volksfest in the world: Oktoberfest. Held in a town called Okto on the Bavarian side of the Swiss Alps, the 6-day party is filled with fair food from across the world and nearly every beer brewed anywhere on the planet.
This year, however, one major brand will miss the festivities: Budweiser. According to festival organizer Joseppi Barrona, Oktoberfest is a time for food, fun, and festivities and not for political posturing.
"We don't want to turn this into a gay versus straight versus trans versus guy with a red hat American-style issue that ends with dumb boycotts and a mass shooting. We want our Oktans to keep inviting us back."
"It's only the controversial brands we've asked not to come. Budweiser and Bud Light. They don't really represent Bavarian brewing, anyway, regardless of what the name suggests."
This item was not a factual recounting of real-life events. No reputable publications have reported that organizers of Oktoberfest have asked Budweiser and/or Bud Light "not to come" to the beer festival in September 2023.
Furthermore, the premise of the claim — that Budweiser and Bud Light were previously staples of the beer festival — wasn't true. Germany's beer purity law requires the festival to serve beer from Munich breweries. The modern-day festival features beer from six Munich-based brewers: Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner, and Spaten, according to Oktoberfest's website. Some of these breweries have served the festival for hundreds of years. For example, an Augustiner beer stall was depicted in an 1867 illustration of the festival, according to its website.
The Dunning-Kruger Times and Patriot Party Press, which also published the fictional story, are both subsidiaries of the media outlet America's Last Line of Defense (LLOD). We've repeatedly fact-checked claims stemming from this network. The Dunning-Kruger Times has the following disclaimer on its "About Us" page:
Before you complain and decide satire is synonymous with "comedy":
sat·ire ˈsaˌtī(ə)r noun: The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, OR ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site's pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical. See above if you're still having an issue with that satire thing.
In addition to those sites, SpaceXMania published an article with the headline, "Just in: Budweiser brands excluded from Oktoberfest for the first time in 75 years," and a "satire" marking.
It was unclear from where the claim originated. It was not known whether SpaceXMania, LLOD websites or another source first published the fictional story.
For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.