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The beer garden culture goes back to the 16th century. In 1553 it was forbidden to brew beer during summer because the brewers' yeast needs between 39 and 46 Fahrenheit to produce the fermentation. And since the refrigerator wasn't invented yet, the brewers could only brew their beers between the catholic St. Michael's day on September 29 and St. George's day on April 23. The beer was stored during the warmer summer months in underground beer cellars (bierkellers) that served as a chilled warehouse. The storage was called "lagern" in German. Above the cellars were chestnut trees, and the soil was graveled. It ensured that the sun didn't warm up the cellars. People used to enjoy their Lager beer around the beer cellars in the shadow of the trees. Soon tables and benches were set up, the beer garden was born. Today, chestnut trees can be found in every Bavarian beer garden. The Bavarian government emphasized in the beer garden ordinance of 1999 the importance of the beer garden culture for the society as a special place in which social differences play no role. However, this doesn't mean that manners play no role. Your manners are pretty important during a visit to the beer garden. What started in the region of Munich as a typical Bavarian cultural element developed into an appreciated pastime during warm weather, in Germany, and at special locations all around the globe.
Beer gardens are not just a place for drinking beer, but also a place for socializing and enjoying the outdoors. They are often located in parks, forests, or other natural settings, and provided a relaxing atmosphere for people to spend time with friends and family.
In addition to Lager beer, beer gardens often offer a variety of other beverages, such as wine, cider, and non-alcoholic drinks. They also serve traditional Bavarian food, such as sausages, pretzels, and potato salad.
The beer garden culture has spread beyond Bavaria and Germany, with similar establishments found in many countries around the world, including the United States, Australia, and Japan.
The concept of communal seating is an important part of the beer garden culture, with large tables often shared by strangers. This encourages socializing and creates a sense of community among patrons.
Many beer gardens have live music or other forms of entertainment, such as games or trivia nights, to enhance the festive atmosphere.
Overall, beer gardens have a rich cultural history and continue to be a beloved pastime for people around the world.