Build a Beer Garden!
Design your own beer garden to enjoy the summer outdoors
Beer gardens developed in the 19th century in Bavaria. The concept started when cellars were dug into riverbank sides to keep the beer cooled. Trees were planted to add more cooling shade. Before long tables and benches were set up to serve the beer and the outdoor beer garden was born.
These areas became known as beer gardens and taverns in Germany often opened up outdoor areas to incorporate them. The concept is now popular worldwide. If you have a back yard, you can create your own beer garden to enjoy year round.
Start by determining a location that would be convenient to the kitchen so you have easy access to food and dishware. Then look for a flat area that would be good for relaxing and entertaining. You can use a patio or barbecue area that is already in place or create a new area. Use flooring that is easy to clean – patio stone, cement, gravel or decomposed granite, for example. If you have a shady tree available, that might help you decide on placement. Remember shady trees were a basic for the traditional beer garden. If you don’t have handy trees, plant large shrubs and trees around your beer garden space. Or you can also construct a permanent or temporary shade cover instead. Trees are probably a little more historically correct, however!
Rustic wooden outdoor seating in the form of tables, chairs, benches or stools will all help create the ambiance. Try using trestle tables to give that German tavern beer garden effect in your own outdoor room. You can also carry through the theme with half-barrels filled with soil and spilling trailing flowers. Or use whole casks for small tables.
For convenience you could build a wooden frame around a cooler that lets you store ice, beer and other cold materials outside. Then you can hang old beer posters on fences and walls, and place antique signs and decorative German beer steins all around your beer garden to underscore the tavern feel. Serve your beer in thick glassware, metal or ceramic mugs or some collected beer steins.
If you want to use your beer garden to relax in or entertain guests, you could also design in an area with wooden lounge chairs and mount a television set in a well-protected area so you can watch games while indulging in a nice cool beer on the weekends.
And if you want to have a beer party every now and again, you might want to don your traditional German beer drinking hat (complete with feather). Make sure you have plenty of pretzels ready, too, for when you invite your guests.
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