It's not spring without a beer garden

It's not spring without a beer garden

Munich's largest

With 100, Munich boasts the largest concentration of beer gardens in Germany. The largest in the Bavarian capital is Hirschgarten, which seats 8,000. Traditionally, guests bring their own food and only order beer - a practice that has been maintained over the years. But for those whose hunger is bigger than what they brought, snacks like soft pretzels and local cheese can be purchased.

It's not spring without a beer garden

First official beer garden

In 1812, Bavaria's King Maximilian I ruled that beer gardens could be set up in Munich for the first time. The garden near the Augustinerkeller, shaded by over 100 chestnut trees, is considered the oldest. Here, beer is served from wooden kegs right in front of the guests. Whenever a fresh keg is tapped, a traditional bell-ringing ritual is celebrated.

It's not spring without a beer garden

Chinese Tower

One of Bavaria's most famous beer gardens has a Chinese flair. Located in the English Garden, there is room for 7,000 beer drinkers at the Chinese Tower, making it the second-largest beer garden in the city. Here, tourists and locals like raise their one-liter glasses in a multicultural atmosphere.

It's not spring without a beer garden

Beer garden 'revolution'

Bavarians take their beer gardens very seriously. In 1995, residents living near the Waldwirtschaft tavern in Grosshesselohe, which has a large beer garden, demanded an earlier closing time. That upset Bavaria's then Prime Minister Edmund Stoiber so much that a law was changed. Now beer lovers can enjoy their brew under the trees until 11:00 pm.

It's not spring without a beer garden

Holy brew

When in Munich, many tourists make a point of traveling out to Andechs Abbey to sample the famous monastic brew. Legend has it the beverage comes from the depths of the "holy mountain" on which the monastery is located. The Benedictine monks in Andechs Abbey continue to run the brewery. The order maintains another five breweries throughout Germany.

It's not spring without a beer garden

World's oldest abbey beer

A beer garden above the cellar can still be found at Weltenburg Abbey. The Weltenburger Abbey brew is pumped via a pipeline from the fermentation cellar in the cliff to the tap, where it is served in the beer garden located in the inner courtyard of the abbey complex. Beer has been brewed in this unique location on the Danube Gorge in the heart of a nature reserve since 1050.

It's not spring without a beer garden

Beyond Bavaria

The beer garden may be a Bavarian invention, but other cities in Germany have adopted it and adapted it to their local brewing culture. In Cologne, the local brew, known as "Kölsch," has been served in Hellers Volksgarten since 1891. Back then, the outdoor tavern, located on a small lake in the middle of the park, was a favorite meeting place for Cologne residents.

It's not spring without a beer garden

Theater with your beer

In 1837, Berlin opened its first beer garden in the Prater. The German capital gave the Bavarian tradition an urban flair, adding theater and vaudeville performances to the menu. Today, the Prater beer garden seats 600 guests in summer, offering them a cool oasis under tall chestnut trees in the middle of the bustling city.

Sitting under high chestnuts and enjoying a cool beer - as soon as the first rays of sun warm up, a visit to Germany's beer gardens is a must! Here are some traditional beer gardens that you simply have to know.

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