The concept of beer gardens originated in Germany, when brewers along the Isar River began selling their beer directly out of their cellars, setting up a couple of benches outside to ensure their success. Today, beer gardens can be found in so many different countries, each one putting their own spin on this German tradition.
Brouwerij ‘t IJ, Amsterdam, Holland
Brouwerij ‘t IJ first opened its doors in 1985, at a time when microbreweries were becoming more popular due to a general dissatisfaction with the bigger brands. Since all of their beers are not only brewed on site, but are also completely organic, Brouwerij ‘t IJ has become one of the top drinking spots in Amsterdam. Both the brewery and beer house have been created from an old bath house, with the brewery being available to tour before you sit down next to the giant windmill for a drink. While the beverage menu may be mind-bogglingly extensive, OROGOLD highly recommends that you give the organic Zatte a try, as this was the first beer that was brewed on site in 1985.
Luong Son, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
This buzzing beer garden in the heart of Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City is just as popular with tourists as it is with the locals. It is as casual as beer gardens get, with hundreds of plastic chairs and communal wooden benches. Here, classic Vietnamese beers are served up alongside barbecue dishes that are cooked on tabletop grills. The food is exquisite and the choices are great for those that want to try something different, as well as for those that want to stick with something known. Ranging from garlic beef skewers to deep fried scorpion to pig’s stomach, whatever you choose to order, OROGOLD highly recommends a pitcher of Saigon to wash it all down.
Hirschgarten, Munich, Germany
No list of beer gardens would be complete without a mention of one of the many in Germany. Hirschgarten in Munich is the largest in the country, seating over 8000 people. This is one of the country’s most historic beer gardens, with 200-year-old chestnut trees providing a canopy of shade, and the game reserve next to the beer garden, with their freely roaming deer, offering up some beautiful views. There are both self-service and tableside options, with the refreshing Augustiner beer being served straight from the cask. While drinking, OROGOLD recommends ordering some of their freshly made local snacks, such as the baked pretzels, roast pork, or homemade cakes and ice cream. This is also a beer garden that has stuck to one of their oldest traditions – customers are allowed to bring in their own food to eat, with only cold drinks and beer needing to be purchased from the venue itself.
Beer gardens are a great German tradition that have now spread all over the world. Whether you’re after a quick drink after work, or a leisurely lunch with a couple of pitchers on a Sunday afternoon, check out your local beer gardens the next time you are heading out for a brew.