Traditional German beer gardens (or biergartens) have swept the United States and brought beer lovers together in casual, outdoor environments where they can sit at long, wooden communal tables and drink beer from mugs as big as their heads. Enjoying this German pastime doesn’t require booking a ticket to Munich (although flight prices are quite cheap these days). Here are America’s best replicas of true Bavarian beer gardens.
Lights strung from trees illuminate the sandy lot below where hundreds of imbibers sip on more than 100 beers on tap (the third-largest draft system in the state). Sample one of 30 homemade sausages while light live music rings in the background, and feel free to bring your pooch as Banger’s is dog friendly.
Enclosed and shaded by towering trees, Sheffield’s is a low-key staple in Chicago’s beer scene. What began as a small outdoor beer venue transformed into a barbecue joint and wine bar with two fireplaces, welcoming guests year-round despite the frigid winter temps.
Estabrook Beer Garden, Milwaukee
Located in an actual garden, Estabrook was the nation’s first post-Prohibition public beer garden. Sample the weekend schnitzel special with fries for $12 and wash it all down with beers imported directly from Munich’s Hofbräuhaus.
Prost!, Portland, Ore.
Pull up a bench at this Portland hot spot where German beers are served in the appropriate drinking vessels and the adjacent food cart lot lets patrons choose from a variety of snacks to complement their brews.
Rhein Haus, Seattle
Cultures collide at this small chain (with other locations in Tacoma and Denver) where visitors can chat and laugh over German beer before channeling their Italian skills at the bocce ball court.
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