What’s one of the best ways to beat the stifling summer heat? By downing an ice-cold brew at one of many sprawling beer gardens, of course. While the Germans may have perfected the art of imbibing outdoors, we’ve gotten pretty damn good at it right here in the U.S.A.
Wherever your upcoming travels bring you this summer, take advantage of the fact there’s probably a killer beer garden nearby. To help guide you on your thirst-quenching quest, we’ve collected six of the best beer gardens across America worth visiting this summer. We’ll cheers to that.
1. Raleigh Beer Garden
Where to find it: Raleigh, North Carolina
Why you should go: Guys who like to keep their options open will feel right at home when visiting the Raleigh Beer Garden. They hold the Guinness World Record for most beers on tap, boasting an ever-changing lineup of more than 350 varieties. Located in the Glenwood South district of downtown Raleigh, the expansive outdoor space regularly hosts events like trivia nights, silent discos, and drag brunches. It’s also pet-friendly, making it the perfect spot to bring a date, meet up with friends, or catch some live music.
2. Lowry Beer Garden
Where to find it: Denver, Colorado
Why you should go: Denver is already known as being a mecca for beer-lovers, and the Lowry Beer Garden only reinforces that reputation. Housed in a revamped airplane hangar on a former Air Force base, this Oktoberfest-inspired space is actually set in its very own park. The outdoor garden area covers more than 9,000 square feet and communal picnic tables can seat a whopping 500 guests. They offer a slew of draft and bottled beer (with an emphasis on Colorado and handcrafted brews). There’s also an impressive menu featuring locally made brats, freshly baked pretzels, and creative house-ground burgers.
3. Schulz Bräu
Where to find it: Knoxville, Tennessee
Why you should go: Craving some authenticity? Schulz Bräu is owned by a family from Germany, and their team specializes in traditional German ales and lagers. This beloved Knoxville brewery is located within a literal castle, boasting a 2,500-square-foot tap room. Every table, bench, and chair in the 6,000-square-foot biergarten comes straight from Germany. Their award-winning beers are created by following the Reinheitsgebot (a series of regulations from 1516), which limits the use of ingredients to nothing more than malt, water, hops, and yeast. Their on-site Schnitzel Kitchen also dishes out all the classic staples you could ever want, including Bavarian cheese, wiener schnitzel, currywurst, and more.
4. Fermented Reality Biergarten
Where to find it: Tampa, Florida
Why you should go: Nestled in the center of Sparkman Wharf in downtown Tampa’s new Water Street neighborhood, Fermented Reality Biergarten has quickly become a fan favorite with locals and tourists alike. The breezy destination opened in late 2018 and has attracted a steady stream of beer enthusiasts ever since. This is thanks to their prime waterfront location, welcoming atmosphere, and extensive beer selection. They feature more than 40 local and international varieties on tap. The lush outdoor garden space provides an idyllic escape to sip on your favorite suds while soaking up the Florida sunshine.
5. Estabrook Beer Garden
Where to find it: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Why you should go: When Estabrook Beer Garden first debuted, it marked America’s first truly public beer garden in nearly 100 years. Inspired by Milwaukee’s rich brewing legacy, it’s modeled after the beer gardens found in modern-day Munich. This verdant retreat within Estabrook Park sits on a bluff overlooking the Milwaukee River. The unique location allows visitors to arrive by foot, bike, kayak, canoe, or car. Whet your whistle with a selection of beers imported from Munich Hofbräuhaus while reconnecting with Mother Nature. And since it’s a public park, people can opt to pack their own picnic baskets or order traditional Bavarian fare.
6. Moon River Brewing Company
Where to find it: Savannah, Georgia
Why you should go: Do you prefer some boos with your brews? If so, head to this (potentially) haunted beer garden. The Moon River Brewing Company is located within one of Savannah’s oldest buildings. Dating back to 1821, it’s lured paranormal investigators from Ghost Hunters and Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures. Known as Savannah’s original brewpub, Moon River has been brewing some of the city’s finest craft beer since 1999. Their 5,400-square-foot beer garden can accommodate up to 200 people, and all their beer is produced on-site in their 15-barrel copper-clad brewhouse. Needless to say, it’ll quickly become one of your favorite Savannah haunts.
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