The perfect beer garden

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We’ve been to Würzburg before, so our recent trip wasn’t really an opportunity for trying new beers. Instead, we set out to enjoy some old favourites in the most beautiful beer gardens we could find, taking advantage of the sunny weather we always seem to find in Franconia.

In five days, we made our way round quite a few, and came to a couple of conclusions about what makes a really nice beer garden so good for the soul.

First, it must have a canopy. Parasols are one thing, but tall, old trees are best. It should feel like a forest — going back to nature, but with a comfy chair, a pork dinner and waitress service. All that green is so calming.

Secondly, it has to be reasonably sized. Two tables crammed into a back yard does not a beer garden make (we visited one in nearby Ochsenfurt that was, despite the sign,  exactly that). You need room to stretch your legs.

And finally, there must be other people there. A beer garden is nothing without the hum of conversation. A good beer garden is social, but also somehow private. You can hear people talking, but it’s hard to eavesdrop on the particulars.

Sadly, those are things which we’ve yet to find anywhere handy in the UK. No-one in London can afford the land to do it properly, and trees take a long time to grow.

9 thoughts on “The perfect beer garden”

  1. I liked the Hofbrauhaus (Wuerzburg) beer garden. Very tall chestnuts as I recall and a very peaceful location at the back of the brewery. Oddly I have been to Ochsenfurt too (twice in fact) and had the disconcerting experience of being given a lift back to our hotel in nearby Frickenhausen by a white German rastafarian for the price of a pint. Well he insisted.

    I don’t recall any beer gardens though.

  2. Tandleman — do you have a copy of the Observer Book of Trees…? The beer gardens in Ochsenfurt were, on the whole, fraudulent: back yards with plastic patio tables. There was one by the river, though, that looked quite pleasant in a scruffy way.

    Tom — ta.

  3. Umm. No. But I reckon I know a tree when I see one. Not tall or not chestnuts? Ochsenfurt is a bit of a nothing town really. We only went there as it is bigger than Frickenhausen which was a hotel stop on our cycling holidays.

  4. I’m terrible at recognising trees. I’m not proud of the fact.

    I liked Ochsenfurt. We had a suspicion it was one of those towns the Germans keep secret from tourists.

  5. TIW — yes, it would have to be somewhere like that and, as you say, that won’t happen for various reasons.

  6. Let me know before your next “fränkischen Urlaub”; I’ll point you to some other outstanding Biergärten & Bierkeller.

    FWIW, reading your St. G. Bräu post below–I find their Kellerbier to be hoppy and yet not. It’s an odd Kellerbier, really unlike others: dark and malty. Unfortunately, it’s the only one to get exported with the description “Kellerbier”, so it’s what most people who’ve not been to the smaller breweries expect.

    Doubly unfortunately, it’s only served under gas at the Keller. Go next door for the traditionally-served Löwenbräu, and hope to find it hoppy and not diacytel and/or DMS laden.

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