10 Easy Ideas for a Beer Garden Picnic

Ready to embrace one of summer's greatest traditions? Grab some friends, food, and of course beer and head to your local beer garden for a picnic as epic as summer itself.

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Keep the food simple

An afternoon at the beer garden is relaxed and fun, so don’t feel the need to overcomplicate the food. Pack some individual pasta salads in mason jars and a fresh fruit salad with apricot dressing. This Spicy Bavarian Beer Mustard and will pair perfectly with your liter of beer.

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Empty Bavarian Beer garden with blue white tablecloth.
Shutterstock / Manuel Findeis

Set a fun table

Shutterstock / Manuel Findeis

Once you arrive at your local beer garden, be sure to snag a table and make it your own. Set out a bright tablecloth, as well as a picnic basket full of plates, utensils and napkins. If you’re feeling extra festive, bring along some flowers and some battery operated candles.

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PB&J on a stick
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Bring the kids

Beer gardens can be a parent’s best friend in the summer. Where else can you meet friends for drinks while your kids happily play beside you? Make the outing just as fun for the kids with fun snacks like PBJ on a stick and colorful juice boxes.

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happy couple having a good time drinking beer together at outdoor pub or bar
Shutterstock / Joshua Resnick

Embrace the theme

The beer garden calls for hearty, beer-filled dishes, so go ahead and embrace your inner beer lover. A plain salad is simply not going to cut it. Get the party started early by whipping up homemade beer dip alongside soft beer pretzels. Be sure to pack extras, as the heavenly smell will most likely land you some new beer-loving friends once you arrive.

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Huge wooden playing dice
GoSports via Amazon

Play a game

Embrace the warm weather and time with friends by packing an outdoor game or two. Bring along a football, a frisbee or even just a deck of cards. If you’re already feeling bored with the usual summer games, try something new like a giant game of dice.

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Strawberry watermelon lemonade
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Stay cool

An afternoon of food and fun at the beer garden could mean hours in the hot sun. Plan ahead by bringing sunglasses, sunscreen, and a picnic umbrella to beat the heat. Stay hydrated with plenty of bottled water and pack a refreshing punch like this strawberry watermelon lemonade.

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Shutterstock / Patrick Thomas

BYO steins

Most beer gardens provide the large liter beer steins for a rental fee or deposit. Beat the lines and save some cash by bringing your own with you. Bringing your own stein will also make you look super legit to your beer garden companions.

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Blackberry Beer Cocktail
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Give your beer an upgrade

Love day drinking with your friends, but prefer not to drink a giant liter of beer in the middle of the afternoon? Mix up your own beer cocktail right at your picnic table. Bring along some fresh fruit, juice, and ice to lighten up your beer with a fruity twist. This blackberry beer cocktail is perfect for any picnic.

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Homeleo 4 Pack Vintage Outdoor Solar Mason Jar Light Set
Homeleo via Amazon

Light up the dark

There’s no need to pack up the party once the sun starts to set. Bring along a cozy blanket or sweatshirt if the evening becomes chilly. Light up your picnic table with these mason jar lanterns or make your own with medium jars and small votive candles. Then bring out the late night snacks and keep enjoying the party.

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S'mookies on a baking sheet
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End on a sweet note

No picnic is complete without the right dessert. Surprise and delight your friends and family with the perfect summer dessert… smookies! The day before your picnic, bake the chocolate chip cookie shortbread squares and allow to cool. Before the picnic, place a large marshmallow on each cookie square and place under the hot broiler. Place the cookies together to form a sandwich and wrap in foil until ready to serve.

Carrie Madormo, RN
Now a freelance health and food writer, Carrie worked as a nurse for over a decade. When she isn't hunched over her laptop with a baby in hand, you will find her cooking her grandmother’s recipes, lacing up her running shoes or sipping coffee in the bathroom to hide from her three young children.