German vs. British Beer Gardens

German beer garden, Wuerzburg.

The Ger­man Beer Gar­den
Tall trees sway and rus­tle in the breeze; discs of sun­light dance across the well-man­i­cured grav­el floor; and, on the air, a hum of qui­et con­ver­sa­tion. The view through the sur­round­ing wood­land is of sum­mer haze in a green-sided val­ley. There is a pow­er­ful smell of roast­ing pork and wood smoke from an open grill. On the table, new­ly deliv­ered stone mugs brim with cool, fresh beer. Birds are singing.

The British Beer Gar­den
Wasps buzz around the hatch­back-sized indus­tri­al waste bin, over by the wood­en fence with its dropped slats. The con­crete paving slabs under foot are lit­tered with cig­a­rette ends, knot­ted crisp pack­ets and squashed chips. The remains of steak and ale pie sit on the next table over, as they have done for the last two hours. A tat­tered white Bac­ar­di-brand­ed para­sol is threat­en­ing to break from its moor­ings in a gath­er­ing gale. The ash­tray on your table over­flows.

5 thoughts on “German vs. British Beer Gardens”

  1. Always found the Ger­man wasps more aggres­sive! Not a xeno­pho­bic anti-Ger­man wasp com­ment btw!:-)

  2. In much of Ger­many, a beer gar­den is a spe­cif­ic kind of place dis­tinct from a pub or bar. And, espe­cial­ly in the South, they have much more reli­ably warm and sun­ny weath­er in sum­mer which makes them viable.

  3. I can see exact­ly where you’re com­ing from. Pubs should make more of their beer gar­dens, if they have them. Augustin­er beer gar­den in Munich is one of the nicest places I think I’ve ever had a beer, and I didn’t even like the beer that much.

  4. It’s a British -pub- beer gar­den, any­thing else is an inevitable faux import mon­stros­i­ty. That makes me think of lots of love­ly ones: the ones with flow­ers tend­ed by the retired old local, the ones with a view on the dales, lakes and so on.

    A Ger­man beer gar­den. Huge place only even open in the sun­ny days, with banks and banks of ‘a beer set’ bench­es-and-tables.

    Very dif­fer­ent beasts that should nev­er be mixed.

  5. On the oth­er hand, there are Eng­lish river­side pubs with out­side seat­ing where I would hap­pi­ly waste a sun­ny after­noon!

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