The history of beer gardens

Hofbräuhaus München Biergarten

As soon as the lively birds start to chirp their spring songs, the Starkbierzeit (strong beer festival) comes to an end, the weather gets warmer and the first buds begin to sprout, beer garden season is here again at last. In Bavaria the season lasts from April to October, depending on the weather. During this time people gather under the mighty tree crowns to enjoy a sociable beer and a grilled fish or chicken.

Everything worth knowing about beer

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We owe the origin of beer to the accident of someone happening to witness the fermentation process, or more precisely, the good fortune that some bread dough was left standing. Beer’s beginnings date back to ancient times; the Sumerians were already brewing beer between the Tigris and the Euphrates in the fourth millennium before Christ. The Egyptians went to work on unbaked bread dough. The Greeks used barley water for healing purposes and even Caesar is said to have revived his troops with nutritious beer, although the “barbarian” drink was less favored by the wine-loving Romans.

Beer amphorae found near Kulmbach, dating back to 800 B.C., are the oldest proof of German beer manufacture. The oldest existing commercial brewery is Weihenstephan – it received its license to brew and sell beer in 1040 A.D. The Munich monastery was crucial to the development of the brewing arts. In the 14th Century, Augustinian monks brewed their beer under the slogan “Liquida non frangunt ienum” (A liquid does not break the fast). In consideration of their hard work and often meager meals, especially during periods of fasting, beer was considered liquid nourishment; the monks could have up to five servings a day. Brewing success seemed haphazard back then, since people first learned about yeast bacteria from Louis Pasteur. Only then could the bacteria be used systematically. As a result, the brewing process was a mystical affair with elements of superstition and incantation.

The most beautiful beer gardens in and around Munich


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This traditional jewel is located near Munich's Hauptbahnhof and the headquarters of Bavaria's public broadcaster. It belongs to the Augustiner brewery, which brews Munich's most popular beer. It's pretty and is a typical Munich beer garden and is always busy. Its appearance hasn't changed since 1895 and 45 of the beer garden's 100-plus chestnut trees are protected by conservation regulations. There's even a lightning conductor among the tables to make sure that hard-drinking guests can still enjoy their beer during summer storms.
Open daily 10 am - 1 am. 5,000 seats, children's play area
›› Maxvorstadt, Arnulf Str. 52, Tel. 59 43 93,


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