Travel Picks: Top 10 Biergartens around the world

Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:22am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - NEW YORK, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Bavaria's King Max Joseph I decreed in 1812 that beer could be drunk where it was brewed and food could be served there too, giving birth to the Biergarten (Beer garden) 200 years ago. This weekend Oktoberfest begins in Munich, so to mark the bicentennial of the Biergarten and the start of Bavaria's most famous festival online travel consultants ( have created a list of the top 10 beer gardens around the world.

1. Hirschgarten, Munich, Germany

The historic - and family friendly - Hirschgarten is Germany's largest biergarten, with benches seating up to 8,000 revelers stretching almost as far as the eye can see. The shady 200-year-old chestnut trees and deer (Hirschgarten translates to "deer garden") that roam around the game reserve next to the beer garden add a bucolic touch to an evening's drinking. The majestic Nymphenburg Palace is close by too. Augustiner beer is served, directly from the cask.

2. Taxisgarten, Munich, Germany

Not quite as old as Hirschgarten, Taxisgarten biergarten has been serving up to 1,500 guests at a time since 1924. It used to be a sanatorium for WWI veterans and gradually opened up to the public. Its proximity to the Taxisklinik, Bavaria's largest maternity clinic, means that many a baby's birth has been celebrated here! There's a small children's play area to keep the kiddies occupied. Hofbräu is a favored brew.

3. Airbräu, Munich Airport, Germany

Now, here's a brilliant idea. A beer garden - and brewery - at Munich Airport! The Airbräu is to be found in the central courtyard between terminals 1 and 2. Airbräu is the world's only airport brewery that crafts its beers in compliance with 16th century purity laws.

If you didn't catch the aviation theme, the beers' names will give you a clue. There's FliegerQuell, Kumulus and Jetstream and seasonal brews that include Aviator and Mayday, a word that recalls emergency but gets its name from May 1, when the first barrel is tapped.

4. Estabrook Park Beer Garden, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA   Continued...