Everybody enjoys dining with a stunning view around them. When you visit a beer garden, your surroundings are part of the experience just as much as the menu. Beer gardens create a great environment outdoors and a vibrant social atmosphere. They're perfect for casual beer drinkers or cicerones.
Though every beer garden is meant to provide a similar experience, the overall vibe can differ from one to the next. The outside decor can reflect many styles, and the bar can serve other types of alcohol. But before we dive into which beer gardens are the best, let’s define what differentiates a beer garden from a regular bar–including the drinks to know as a bartender.
What Is a Beer Garden?
A beer garden is an outdoor dining experience that services a wide selection of beer and food options. In most cases, the foods you’ll find on the menu pair well with different beer brands and styles to better enhance your entire meal.
Picturesque beer gardens may not be reminiscent of one another. For instance, some may take on a trendy atmosphere, while others are meant to provoke a historic and authentic experience. You can be sure they're all educated about beer expiration.
More often than not, the styles of famous beer gardens will likely reflect the city they live in. Not only does this create a memorable and unique experience for tourists, but it nurtures a sense of authenticity when introducing local craft beers from microbreweries.
Beer gardens are a great place to experience unique beers from local breweries and delicious food. Large cities and small towns offer unique beer garden experiences. Whether you make frequent visits to a local beer garden or plan to make a reservation for an upcoming vacation, it will certainly be an enjoyable experience.
Best Beer Gardens
Beer gardens are always a fun place to be, even if you’re not a drinker. Though major cities throughout the country have numerous beer gardens to choose from, we narrowed it down to five of the best.
Best Beer Garden In Philly
The Independence Beer Garden sits within the most historic section of Philadelphia. American history buffs will love the location, as it’s right across the street from the Liberty Bell and offers views of the Independence National Historic Park.
The 20,000-square-foot beer garden is embellished with distressed metal accents, strands of Tivoli lights, and reclaimed timber that creates an old-time ambiance. The beer garden is almost like a time capsule reflective of the city center.
The Independence Beer Garden boasts a list of forty tap American beers, some of which are from local breweries. To perfectly match their beer selection, you’ll also find a lengthy menu featuring nothing but American classics.
If you’re contemplating other landmarks to cross off your bucket list while visiting the Liberty Bell Center, here are several sights you’ll remember from history class–or the travel channel:
- Independence Hall
- The Franklin Institute
- Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
- Philadelphia Museum of Art
- Reading Terminal Market
Best Beer Garden DC
The Dacha Beer Garden in Washington D.C. is a family-friendly option with a delicious selection. The extensive menu lists a variety of Belgian, German, and American craft beers. If you’re not in the mood for beer, Dacha also offers wine and cocktails. Summer and spring cocktails are usually everyday favorites amongst customers.
From networking happy hours to school reunions, Dacha Beer Garden can be the host of your next event (check out our restaurant marketing ideas for inspiration). You can find the original Dacha Beer Garden in Shaw and their newer location at Navy Yard.
The Dacha Beer Garden is perfect if you seek a social setting to meet new people and gain a sense of community in the nation’s capital. The following events are just a few that you can find at the stunning beer garden (learn more with our list of bar event ideas):
- Meetup Monday: a place where you can grow your network and meet new friends. When you live in a big city, it can be challenging to find your niche. Dacha makes it super easy by hosting social gatherings every week.
- Cause Tuesday: a weekly fundraising campaign that supports local communities. As a resident, you can collaborate with Dacha to promote an organization or nonprofit that you’re passionate about.
- Beer Club Wednesday: a weekly get-together to try three specialty brews from local breweries. New flavor profiles and blends keep members coming back to try more. Plus, it’s a fun way to learn about microbreweries in the DMV area.
Best Beer Garden In Manhattan
Sometimes, a little peace and quiet are all you’re looking for in the city that never sleeps. Escape the chaos of New York City with a trip to Loreley Beer Garden. If you’re looking to try authentic German beers and would like a bite to eat, Loreley Beer Garden will quickly become your new favorite eatery in the big city.
Loreley Beer Garden is a go-to spot for happy hour and hosts several events throughout the year, including but not limited to the following:
- St. Patrick’s Day
- Haunted Beer Garden
- Snowy Winter Wonderland
Are you interested in hosting a private event on the Lower East Side? Loreley Beer Garden offers a variety of rooms that have a capacity of up to 50 attendees.
Best Beer Garden Nashville
Upon visiting Nashville, it might be hard to steer away from the bars along Broadway (view our complete bartender's guide book to get more ideas for your next bar crawl) and whiskey tasting rooms, but try to limit your time near tourist attractions and experience the itinerary of a local. Even though Nashville might seem like the ideal place to try different whiskey brands, don’t discredit the city for its local craft beers.
The Pharmacy consists of a beer garden and indoor restaurant that offers a wide selection of German favorites, from ale to cider. If you find yourself feeling indecisive about what to get first, ask the bartender about their best-sellers.
Known as the hardest-working kitchen in Music City, you’re guaranteed to enjoy menu items of the highest quality. You can locate The Pharmacy in East Nashville, which isn’t too close to the hustle and bustle of tourist spots.
The Eastern side of the city is known for the following attractions that you won’t want to miss during your next trip to Nashville:
- Craft beer menus in bars that are a little less crowded than those downtown.
- Award-winning dining for all of your Southern favorites.
- Live music from bands that play more than just country music.
Best Beer Garden Houston
Since the roaring twenties, Axelrad Beer Garden has been a scenic and artistic place. The outdoor garden features a selection of local, regional, and heirloom plants that make it feel like you’re in the heart of nature.
If you enjoy pairing drinks with live entertainment, Axelrad will be a fun atmosphere for you and your loved ones. The beer garden works with a local record company to offer the following events all year long:
- Live concerts featuring local acts.
- Film screenings for an outdoor theater experience.
- Festivals and fairs for various occasions.
When to Visit a Beer Garden?
Spring and summer are by far the best seasons to visit beer gardens. The trees and flowers in full bloom create a beautiful setting, and the weather is perfect for sitting outside. Autumn can be a bit chilly, and beer gardens usually aren’t open during the winter months.
However, if you’re operating a bar or restaurant with a beer garden, elevate your customers’ experience all year long by implementing space heaters. Once you create a comfortable environment regardless of the outside temperature and hire a friendly bar staff, your beer garden can quickly become the go-to in your area.
Frequently Asked Questions About Beer Gardens
What Makes a Beer Garden?
A beer garden should be an outdoor setting that serves beer and food. Typically, beer gardens have a close-knit feel and are social settings. Generally, beer gardens within the countryside are more scenic than you may find in a busier city.
What Is Another Name for a Beer Garden?
Beer gardens might also be referred to as beer parlors, lounges, and beerhouses. If a restaurant or bar has a scenic outdoor seating area, the term “beer garden” is appropriate to use.
Why Do They Call a Bar a Beer Garden?
Beer gardens are usually the same concept as an outdoor bar or restaurant but include greenery and floral arrangements, hence the term “garden.” However, some beer gardens may be more extravagant than others, as some specialize in creating a picturesque experience. If you find yourself wondering how to open a bar, consider having an outdoor seating area to operate a beer garden, too. This could even help you offset the cost to open a bar.