Evolution of Beer Gardens

History of German Biergarten

Biergartens means Beer garden which is very popular all through Germany. Nothing is a pleasurable and cozy as having a cold beer under the chestnut tree in one of your favorite garden in Bavaria on hot days of summer. This will be a  perfect day for any Bavarian.

History of Beer Gardens

But the history of Beer garden dates back to the 16th century when all Germans were bounded to follow the Brauordnung which is the Beer Regulation Act of 1539. The Act forced all the brewers to produce their beers only in winters which means only from September to April. The Act was just to ensure the safety of people as there are very fewer chances for the fire to break out during the cold months in comparison to hotter months of summer.

The Act placed a limitation for the people but as said necessity is the mother of invention, all brewers came up with a great solution. The first solution they gave was to serve warm flat beer in summer which was obviously not liked by beer lovers.

Hence the next solution was found by the brewers of Munich. They made large blocks of ice in months of winter which were placed in the largely built cellar which resulted in cool beer all year around. This also helped brewers to ale the beers at low temperatures and then maintaining that temperature to produce it in larger amounts.

Evolution of Beer Gardens
Evolution of Beer Gardens

Next, to keep the cellars cooler, they placed a chestnut tree above the cellars and arranged few tables and chairs under that shade. Now the people started ordering some snacks along with the beers. Hence evolved the beer gardens of Bavarian in Munich.

The Biergarten soon became popular all around Germany but then they also started causing some problems like plundering the customers from taverns, hotels, and innkeepers. Hence they filed a petition against direct selling of beer to the public which was approved for short duration. However, this did not continue for long as the first king of Bavaria stepped into this issue and imposed the rule that brewers can only sell beers in public but not any kind of food.

Then the beer gardens became a place for picnic and outing along with the enjoyment of chilled beers. Later in 1897, the ban on selling food was also removed and all beer gardens started selling some food with beers. But till then it became the tradition to bring your own food to the beer gardens.

The feature which differentiated the restaurants from beer garden was that an authenticated beer gardens must allow its consumer to have food for free or which they have carried along with them that mostly include the checks designed table cloth. Whereas restaurants charge for food and have a table ready for serving the customers.

Biergarten was so popular as it never discriminated any person based on its class, profession, gender unlike that happens in hotels and pubs. Biergarten celebrated the 200th anniversary of its completion of the tradition of the Bavarian Beer gardens. As of now, the beer gardens reopen when the weather starts to warm up and closes during fall.

Biergarten Culture

Other than quenching the thirst for beer and food, beer gardens are also important for establishing the social relationship. The promote the community and solidarity growth. They provided an opportunity for families who are busy in their day to day life, take a break from it, enjoy drinking, eating and enjoying together. Hardly there are any cases of over drinking and escorting of that person.

As the law was passed to bring your own food, it helped poor people to come out of their life and encourage them to join this community.  The beer gardens were placed for all, age groups from kids to old people can come and enjoy, unlike those bars and pubs.

Modern Biergarten
Modern Biergarten

Unlike restaurants, there are no servers and cleaners to serve your food and clean your tables as well. You must do it yourself as in self-service. Other than beers and alcoholic drinks, many non-alcoholic drinks are available.

So just have some quality time with yourself and mingle with families and strangers under the shady chestnut tree in beer gardens of Germany.

What should be Consumed as Food at the Beer Garden in Germany?

Though the tradition of bringing your own food prevails in the beer garden many of them serve authentic and local delicacies that are worth trying. The local specialties that are popular are standard, made in hygienic conditions and are very simple and traditional. The dishes are also pocket-friendly many of which start around 10 Euros. Some of the very famous dishes are

  • Wurst -A type of sausage which has other subtypes like weisswurst and currywurst
  • Brotzeit – A basic snack made of bread, cheese, mixed with chives and onions like toppings, served with pickles, radish, and sausages.
  • Brezeln – A very common German snack listed on almost all menus
  • Spatzle – The noodle dish with egg, fried onions and lots of cheese.
  • German Salads – Served as side dishes along with meat but they are not necessarily vegetarian options.
  • Flammkuchen – This is thin crust pizza with toppings of cream, bacon, and onion.
  • Hendl – It is half chicken that is served with garlic sauce and savory rub.
  • Schweinshaxe – It is huge pork with local spices and is seriously for people with a large appetite

What are Types of Beers available at Beer Garden?

Only beers made at the brewery are served in the beer gardens, even today also when lot many options for other brand beers are available. Most breweries at Germany serve beers like

  • Dunkel which is dark and very strong
  • Weizen which is a wheat beer
  • Helles which is a very mild type of beer

If you do not prefer drinks with much alcoholic content, you can also choose drinks with mild alcoholic content like a Radler which is a mixture of lemonade and beer. You can also choose chilled rink called Kristallweizen which is the filtered version of Hefeweizen and is of straw colored.

Other than these non-alcoholic beverages like wine, soft drinks, tea, coffee are also available in some of the biergartens now.