History of Beer Gardens

The concept of today’s version of a beer garden came to be in the early 19th century. King Maximillion the first of Bavaria made a decree known as the edict of 1812. This allowed brewers to sell their beer on their brewery site. The actual beer garden came to be much before this edict. Brewers kept their barrels of brew to ferment in their cellars. During the summer months temperature would increase in these cellars so the brewers had to find a way to keep them cool. To keep the ground above the cellars cool the brewers would plant chestnut trees and covered the ground with gravel. This would allow the brew to keep fermenting over the summer months. It didn’t take the brewers long to realize they could but chairs, benches and tables around this area to allow for more people to enjoy the area. It was and still is customary that guests bring their own food and consume it. This custom goes all the way back to 1812. Many city folks would find these beer gardens as a nice retreat from busy life and they would go to beer gardens to relax and enjoy life.

Beer Gardens today

Going to beer gardens still enjoys great popularity and is a hallmark for Bavarian Gemütlichkeit, tolerance and ease. It is still seen as traditional to bring one’s own picnic to a modern beer garden. Beer gardens themselves now sell their own food. Beer gardens are seen as a place where young, old, local and foreigners, from all social classes, may mingle and have a casual get together. This is a typical expression of Bavaria and more importantly has transformed into an item that associated with Germany as a ===== whole.

200th anniversary

In 2012 Munich celebrated the 200th anniversary of the comman day beer garden. Note this is not celebrating the concenpt of the beer garden rather the idea of selling the beer there legally and picnicing around the area.The 200-year beer garden anniversary was a joint project of the Munich Tourist Officeand the Tourismusverband München Oberbayern e.V. (Upper Bavaria Tourist Board).Numerous traditional beer gardens took place in the 2012 celebrations. The celebration took place from July to the end of September. This led it right up to Oktoberfest!


The Hirschgarten is the largest traditional beer garden in Germany. It can seat over 8,000 people in its beer garden alone. Its restaurant dates back to 1791 and has a service area that sits 1200. This allows those who wish to have a nice sit down meal and be waited on to enjoy their beer garden experience however they wish. Next to the Hirschgarten is a game reserve where they have 30 deer located. This goes back to the name of the beer garden, Hirsch, deer, and garten, garden.

Cultural Aspect of beer gardens

Beer itself has always been apart of german culture. Even dating back to the tribal times, german legenaries reported about how the Germanic hausfrau-brewsters minded the kettle in the forest clearings. Yes this is homemade beer out in the moonlight. The other thing it controlled in Germany was power. In a country where beer defines your national character, the question is who contorl the brew is one of the most important question one may ask. Between the 6th and 9th centuries this struggle for brewing power was between teh feudal lords and the Christian monks, mainly Benedictine. The third force that snuck up on these two where the Burghers. These city folk quitely created new prosperity in the industry and soon many monopolized on the making of top quality beer and had trading empires that stemmed across Europe. This led to beer being used for commercial reasons. The dukes and princes stilled own most of the lands needed to brew or gather herbs to spice the beer, such as hobes and gruit, old german word for wild berries. This allowed them to continue to cash in on the beer industry that was forming with little work done by them.

Works Cited

ger/101/2012/fall/adam_l.txt · Last modified: 2012/11/02 05:47 by allehnus
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