Beer Gardens - Microbrewery Craft Beer Basking In the Sun and Taking On Some Shade

When you think of beer the word garden doesn't seem to fit next to it. Sure hops are grown, same with barley, and rice but those ingredients are grown on farms not gardens. Nevertheless beer gardens are real things and they are beginning to catch a buzz around the states.

A beer garden is a large outdoor setting that's shaded by trees, the ground is gravel not road, and the seats are communal benches not chairs. People come to a beer garden to enjoy beer, food, each others company, and the good ole outdoors. Rare that one sees this in the states since most establishments only offer a patio or terrace with tables and chairs. Communal seating? Doesn't sound very American does it? That's because beer gardens actually originated in Bavaria, Germany.


In the 19th century beer gardens began to spring up in Germany. King Ludwig I (King Louis I) ruled as did the dark lager. These lagers needed to be brewed in the winter since it had to be brewed at 4 and 8 degrees Celsius. In the summer these beers would be served but needed to remain cold as well. The breweries dug cellars into the banks of the river Isar in order to store the beer, covered these cellars with gravel for insulation, and finally planted chestnut trees so the leaves would shade the beer.

Since all of the large breweries were doing this and people still wanted to drink beer, these areas were quickly becoming hot spots for the people of large cities such as Munich. With gravel at your feet and shaded chestnut tress over your head the name Biergarten or beer garden quickly took it's roots in the German culture.

Smaller breweries still existed in Munich at the time and were feeling the loss of patronage from the citizens of Munich and decided to petition King Ludwig I to forbid the selling of food at these establishments. While the king granted this the larger breweries allowed customers to bring their own food. It was quite a battle over patrons, one that would rival America's gas wars in the 1980's. Later the decree that no food would be served was removed but according to the Bayerische Biergartenverordnung (beer garden decree) patrons in Germany are still allowed to bring their own food to the gardens.

Beer gardens while popular in Germany have only just started to take their roots in America. The oldest garden in the United States is Bohemian Hall, New York. Serving sausages and traditional German fare and beer. While they don't serve a lot of craft beer, they do serve some micro breweries, and the beer drinking community of New York is brought to together every weekend at Bohemian Hall.

Stone Brewing has opened Stone World Bistro and Beer Garden in Escondido, California. This establishment is completely opposite to Bohemian Hall. The establishment is beyond beautiful and very lavish with leather and oak all over. Offering 120 bottles of craft beer and 33 micro breweries on tap. That's a lot of beer. Not one beer offered is a light lager (fizzy and macro brewed), the only beer offered is exceptional micro brewery craft beer.

The food at World Bistro is considered top notch for the United States. Nothing but organic and locally raised graces their menu. They take absolute pride in what they serve showcasing steaks, pork, greens, and deserts that not only look fantastic but deliver on flavor; just like Stone's Beer.

Beer gardens are appearing all over the United States. These are just two examples of beer gardens you can visit either on the east or west coast. Google the nearest garden near you and see what pops up. Remember though, in order to be considered a beer garden it must be communal seating, outdoors, and shaded by trees. With micro breweries becoming more and more main stream year after year, expect establishments to add gardens and beer gardens, as establishments to open up. Head to the garden, have a pint and laugh with some friends and truly take part in a tradition that has spanned over 100 years.

Beer Gardens - Microbrewery Craft Beer Basking In the Sun and Taking On Some Shade

Marc Bayes is an expert author and scholar on Craft Beer as well as a certified beer server. Want to know more about craft beer, new releases, great breweries, and amazing events involving the world of beer then head over to Sign up, take a look around, and join the conversation. Always on Face Book:

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