The Best Beer Gardens in the United States
There's nothing like enjoying Hefeweizen and a bratwurst with friends in one of the country's best beer gardens. Here's where to go!
Beer gardens originated in 19th-century Munich and are still popular in Germany today. In the last few decades, beer gardens (and beer garden food) have become more popular in the United States. Now we all have a place to enjoy Gemütlichkeit, a German word for communal cheer.
Avondale Brewing, Birmingham
The building that houses Birmingham’s Avondale Brewing has been many things over the years, including a post office, bank, firehouse and saloon. Today the historic building serves up Avondale’s clean and classic beer styles, which can be enjoyed in the brewery’s expansive, shaded beer garden lit by strings of charming Edison bulbs.
Haines Brewing, Haines
The beer garden at Haines Brewing is hundred miles northwest of Juneau. It isn’t the largest on this list, but it might have the most beautiful view: stunning vistas of the surrounding snow-capped mountains. It takes some work to get to, but you won’t want to leave!
Brat Haus, Scottsdale
Afternoons can get just a bit hot in Arizona, but the evenings are perfect for sitting outdoors. Brat Haus is located in the Old Town area of Scottsdale and serves 28 beers on tap to go with an assortment of brats, burgers and snacks.
Fassler Hall, Little Rock
Known best for their variety of German beer, Fassler Hall has earned a top spot as one of Little Rock and Arkansas’ best beer gardens. Enjoy a tasty menu jam packed with options (their duck fat fries with Gouda cheese are a must) for a delicious pairing with your brews.
Stone World Bistro & Gardens, Escondido
California has numerous classic beer gardens, including Zeitgeist in San Francisco and Red Lion Tavern in LA, but the most impressive is Stone World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido with stones, water, trees and plants creating a natural oasis for enjoying Stone’s world-class brews. While Stone’s beers are legendary, the Bistro’s menu is equally impressive, too.
Lowry Beer Garden, Denver
Located on a former Air Force base, Lowry Beer Garden can seat hundreds outdoors and keep them warm with its fire pits if there’s a chill in the air. Of course, the 16 all-Colorado craft beer taps can help with that too, as do their excellent burgers.
The Beer Garden at Shippan Landing, Stamford
The Beer Garden at Shippan Landing has a large, grassy, tree-lined space near the water in the town’s harbor. It welcomes visitors with local craft beer, live music and a regular rotation of food trucks.
Constitution Yards, Wilmington
Constitutions Yards in Wilmington situates its 30,000 square feet of outdoor space on the Christina Riverwalk, and features BBQ sandwiches, hot dogs and craft beer. It’s dog-friendly, too, as long as Fido stays in the grassy or mulched areas.
The Butcher Shop Beer Garden & Grill, Miami
Located in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami, The Butcher Shop serves a mouth-watering menu of prime meats, burgers, sausages and sandwiches, and washes them down with great craft beers in a classy but casual beer garden.
The owner is a Georgia craft beer veteran, which makes Barleygarden‘s two-tiered beer garden in Alpharetta (north of Atlanta) a good enough reason to visit the suburbs. Grab a brew from their sister company Hop City Brewing or one from the Georgia-heavy guest beer list.
Honolulu Beerworks, Honolulu
The best place to have a beer in Hawaii is on a proper lanai (which you might know as a veranda or patio), and Honolulu Beerworks‘ leafy outdoor paradise lets you soak in the tropical beauty. When the meal’s done, enjoy one of their stout-infused brownies.
The Yardarm, Boise
Boise’s Yardarm is a beer and wine bar housed in upcycled shipping containers with a fenced-in, sand-floored beer garden, providing a twenty-first century spin on the classic beer garden. Food trucks provide grub that goes with the establishment’s excellent beer list.
Chicago has numerous excellent beer gardens, including Kaiser Tiger and Park & Field, but the best can be found at Sheffield’s in Roscoe Village. Two hundred craft beers (40 on tap), a BBQ menu (start out with the BBQ flatbread) and a gorgeous garden with cottonwood trees and cozy brick make this the best place in the Windy City.
The Rathskellar, Indianapolis
Don’t be fooled by this Indianapolis establishment’s name, which means “basement beer hall.” The Rathskeller‘s outdoor beer garden features a walk-up bar and upscale pub food in its large outdoor garden with a great view of downtown.
El Bait Shop, Des Moines
El Bait Shop in Des Moines doesn’t have the biggest outdoor space on this list, but they do have the biggest beer list. They have the largest selection of American craft beer on tap in the world, with 262 taps! Enjoy your beer with their popular fish tacos.
Gaslight Gardens, Lawrence
Small, charming and off the beaten path. Those words could describe both Gaslight Gardens and the college town of Lawrence it calls home. The charming beer garden pours a small but well-curated beer list and features live music, too.
Kentucky Native Cafe, Lexington
Kentucky Native Cafe is a beer garden in the truest sense. An idyllic outdoor space offers tasty eats and a nice beer list surrounded by natural beauty in a family-friendly environment. A thoughtful cafe menu includes a dazzling list of creative salads.
Bayou Beer Garden, New Orleans
In the deep south, the nights are warm and humid, making a cold beer all the more appealing. The large Bayou Beer Garden in New Orleans provides plenty of palm trees for shade and over a hundred beers to keep you cool.
Mason’s Brewing, Bangor
A friend from Portland, Maine, told me his favorite Maine beer garden is Mason’s Brewing in Bangor. Great food and beer pair beautifully with the patio’s view, which overlooks the Penobscot River. Start with soft pretzels and beer cheese dip while you enjoy the scenery.
Old Stein Inn, Edgewater
Founded in 1983 by German immigrants, Edgewater’s Old Stein Inn is the most authentic German food and beer experience in Maryland. With 10 German beer taps and award-winning food, the Inn’s partly-covered outdoor seating is a classic German beer garden experience.
Notch Mobile Biergarten, Salem
Salem’s Notch Brewing brings the beer garden to the drinkers by teaming up with a local non-profit to travel to different cultural, urban park and farm locations. Special activities include concerts and lawn games.
Schnitzelbank Biergarten at Bavarian Inn, Frankenmuth
The town of Frankenmuth is known for its Bavarian architecture and cultural heritage, so what better place to enjoy a German beer garden? Bavarian Inn serves all-you-can-eat fried chicken and excellent beer in their massive Schnitzelbank Biergarten.
August Schell Brewing, New Ulm
August Schell Brewing in New Ulm was founded by a German immigrant in 1860, and the brewery—which is owned by his descendants—is still brewing authentic German lager styles. Schell’s outdoor seating offers beer drinkers a historical green paradise.
Munson and Brothers Trading Post, Columbus
The Munson and Brothers Trading Post is an apothecary, retail store and beer garden all in one. With events like trivia and open mic night, there’s seriously always something to do there. Plus, their selection of local draft beer in Columbus is extensive and impressive.
Grünauer, Kansas City
Germany isn’t the only country with a beer garden tradition. Neighboring Austria gets in on the shaded outdoor imbibing too, and Grünauer in Kansas City brings the Austrian beer garden atmosphere to middle America. American craft beer shares space with Austrian and German imports, and pairs with the kitchen’s Viennese cuisine.
Bonsai Brewing Project, Whitefish
Near Whitefish’s quaint downtown, Bonsai Brewing Project serves their 10 house-brewed beers in a cozy taproom and a spacious outdoor beer garden. The space is family friendly, and the family dog can even come, as long as it’s well-behaved.
Bärchen Beer Garden, Omaha
Bärchen Beer Garden in Omaha keeps things simple: good beer, good food and lots of TVs showing the best sporting events. German, Belgian and Scandinavian beers complement the establishment’s menu of sandwiches, sausages and pretzels. If you’re a soccer fan, there’s a good chance you can watch a game here!
Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas, Las Vegas
Hofbräu is one of the oldest and most legendary beer halls in the world in Munich, Germany, and they’ve recreated the experience in seven U.S. cities, including Las Vegas. Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas boasts a gargantuan beer hall and a spacious outdoor beer garden for lifting steins of lager to wash down huge soft pretzels and brats.
Earth Eagle Brewings, Portsmouth
New Hampshire is filled with up-and-coming craft brewers, but as far as beer gardens go, Earth Eagle Brewings takes the cake. The Portsmouth location’s private beer garden is open year round, weather permitting. Table service is available in the quaint outdoor spot, with colorful blooms on display while you sip a cold one.
Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten, Asbury Park
Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten in oceanside Asbury Park offers stunning views to go along with more than 60 hard-to-find imported and domestic craft beers and tasty Austro-Hungarian cuisine. The rooftop beer garden also offers vistas of the Atlantic Ocean, as well as Asbury’s historic architecture.
Sidetrack Brewing, Albuquerque
I asked Asa B. Stone, a beer expert and Albuquerque native, about her favorite New Mexico beer garden. She had this to say about Sidetrack Brewing: “Their courtyard is not only gorgeous and serene, but it creates a sense of community in the middle of downtown.” That’s everything a beer garden should be.
Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, New York City
New York City alone has a lot of great beer gardens, like StandardBiergarten and Radegast, but we can only pick one, and I’m going with Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden in Astoria. Founded in 1910, it’s run by a Czech and Slovak community group, and offers authentic dishes and a whole lot of great beer in its sun-dappled beer garden.
Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery, Chimney Rock
While VBGB Beer Hall & Garden in Charlotte is the state’s grandest and best known beer garden, leave the beaten path and seek out Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery in the gorge of the Rocky Broad River. The brewery’s four cascading outdoor decks provide the most beautiful outdoor beer drinking experience in the state.
JL Beers, Bismarck
JL Beers has multiple locations throughout North Dakota, but its Bismarck spot opened a beautiful, patio beer garden that’s earned rave reviews from locals and visitors alike. When the weather is nice, stop in and grab a brew, plus a burger or sandwich to go with it.
Mecklenburg Gardens, Cincinnati
Cincinnati’s oldest restaurant is also one of the country’s oldest beer gardens. Mecklenburg Gardens was founded over 150 years ago, and survived Prohibition through the help of a bootlegging boat. No lawbreaking is necessary today in this storied space, as German beers share taps with Cincinnati’s own craft beer heavyweights.
City Garden, Oklahoma City
Midtown district’s outdoor beer garden and food truck spot is the place to go if you’re craving a local beer, frozen cocktail or just a night out of fun. Open Thursday through Sunday, City Garden provides live music and an eclectic, charming atmosphere—with so many different eats and brews to choose from.
Portland is one of the best beer cities in the country, and despite the rain, it has plenty of great outdoor drinking spaces. Prost! is the top of the heap, and provides one of the most eclectic dining experiences to go along with all the great beer, thanks to the adjoining food cart park serving everything from vegan options to sushi.
Frankford Hall, Philadelphia
Frankford Hall in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood aims for an authentic German beer garden atmosphere, with trees, picnic tables and fire pits and beer served by the half or full liter. A Bavarian food menu keeps drinkers sustained for such hearty quaffs, and ping pong and shuffleboard keep them entertained.
Tilted Barn Brewery, Exeter
Less of a beer garden than a farmyard, Tilted Barn Brewery‘s rural property is nonetheless a lovely outdoor space for enjoying some good brews. Rhode Island’s first farm brewery, this Exeter brewery is named for and housed in a barn that has been in the owner’s family for over fifty years. Ingredients are grown on-site, making this a “farm-to-pint” experience.
Bay Street Biergarten, Charleston
Located on the historic Charleston Peninsula in Charleston, Bay Street Biergarten is going decidedly new school with their beer program, despite the old world beer garden feel. In addition to a 24-tap main bar, beer flows from an additional 70 taps spread throughout the facility and dispensed electronically by the customers.
Miner Brewing, Hill City
Don’t expect to just sit outside at Miner Brewing in the Black Hills. You’ll want to leave plenty of time for soaking in the pristine surroundings, including a view of Black Elk Peak. There’s also corn hole, Frisbee golf and bocce ball to keep you entertained while you enjoy brewmaster Sandi Vojta’s delicious beers.
The Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden, Nashville
Nashville is booming, but the folks here still know how to relax. The Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden has one of the best curated beer lists we’ve seen, with rare Southern beers to sip. Enjoy the brews with the establishment’s namesake hamburgers or other dishes in the well-shaded garden.
Jester King Brewery outside Austin and Live Oak Brewing near Austin both have gorgeous outdoor seating, but we would be remiss to not give a nod to Banger’s in the city itself. Thirty house-made sausages and beer from 106 taps come together in an expansive outdoor space to make this the best beer garden in the Lone Star State.
The Hog Wallow Pub, Salt Lake City
The storied Hog Wallow Pub on the outskirts of Salt Lake City is named after a particularly gnarly rapid on the nearby Green River. The overgrown outdoor space offers a lush escape from the city. A few years back, City Weekly (SLC) called it the “Best bar to find your father’s name carved in the ceiling.” Take from that what you will.
Idletyme Brewing, Stowe
Stowe’s Idletyme Brewing occupies a former blacksmith shop built in 1830, and the atmosphere of community harkens back to a simpler time, though their food and beer are fresh and modern. Snack plates, salads and delectable entrees and a balanced list of beer brewed on site are best enjoyed in Idletyme’s beer garden in the shadow of the large trees.
Westover Market & Beer Garden, Arlington
Here’s something unique: a top-notch beer garden attached to a neighborhood food market. Westover Market & Beer Garden in Arlington sells local meats and organic produce, but also provides a lovely outdoor beer garden with a short but thoughtful beer list. (How do I convince my local grocery store to try this out?)
Rhein Haus, Seattle
Seattle’s Rhein Haus is a big place, with numerous indoor spaces and full bocce ball courts under the roof. But their outdoor beer garden is spacious, too, and allows you to soak in the sun between rain showers. Two dozen drafts dispense European and Northwest beers to go with a full food menu.
Dacha Beer Garden,
This super-cool cafe and beer garden in the District’s Shaw neighborhood has a jaw-dropping beer list to be enjoyed under the gaze of a giant mural of Elizabeth Taylor that graces the Dacha‘s exterior wall. Sit in the shade and lift a glass to the screen queen while you enjoy great beers from Germany, Belgium and the United States.
Bahnhof WVrsthaus & Biergarten, Huntington
Bahnhof WVrsthaus & Biergarten in Huntington has a tracker on their website tallying how many feet of sausage they’ve cranked out for hungry guests—and it shows hundreds of miles. 33 beers on tap pair with the sausages, and the large, partially covered beer garden with a fire pit is the perfect place to enjoy both.
Estabrook Beer Garden, Milwaukee
Wisconsin loves beer, and there are numerous German-inspired outdoor drinking experiences around the state, especially in Milwaukee. Estabrook Beer Garden is a family-friendly establishment tucked away in a public park in the north side of the city.
Psst: Beer isn’t the only reason we love the Badger State. Check out the best recipes from our readers in Wisconsin.
Snake River Brewing, Jackson Hole
Snake River Brewing was named “Small Brewery of the Year” at the Great American Beer Festival in 2000, and they haven’t let up since then! “Jackson Hole’s living room” offers two levels of outdoor seating, and a full food menu to go with award-winning beers that are “brewed with a taste of the Tetons.”