In 2012 Munich and Upper Bavaria are celebrating an old Bavarian tradition

January 4, 2012 will see the 200th anniversary of the edict which permitted beer brewers to sell retail quantities of their own beer in their beer cellars from June until September and to serve beer and bread to their guests. The Munich Tourist Office in cooperation with the Upper Bavaria Tourist Board and the breweries will inform about numerous events in the local beer gardens.

Once upon a time...
In a time when there were no electric cooling systems, the brewers planted linden and chestnut trees above the cellars where the beer was stored and covered the ground with a thick layer of gravel. Thus the storage rooms remained cool, and the beer kept its freshness in summer. After buying their beer the locals enjoyed staying under the shady trees, and they right away drank the beer that had actually been bought for consumption at home.

King Max I granted permission to the brewers to sell their beer on the spot. The custom that guests are allowed to bring their own food to the beer garden and consume it there is based on this edict of 1812. Thus the beer garden was “born”.

Up to the present day.....
The beergarden tradition still enjoys great popularity and is the hallmark of Bavarian Gemütlichkeit, tolerance and ease. While beer gardens sell food, it’s also a tradition to bring one’s own picnic...On balmy summer nights Bavarians love to pack their picnic baskets and to enjoy the dimming of the day with a beer from the tap, bread, cucumbers, radishes cut in an elaborate spiral, homemade Obatzda cheese, grapes, ham, and sausages. In the beer garden young and old people, locals and foreigners, revelers from all social classes mix in a casual get-together.

Far beyond the borders of Bavaria beer gardens are regarded as a typical expression of the Bavarian way of life.

When you visit Munich, just sit down at one of the tables with locals - it is a custom in Bavaria, to join complete strangers and enjoy each other’s company.

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