Oktoberfest is coming! The festival of good food and beer is almost upon us and to celebrate, Cheapflights.com has created a list of the top beer gardens around the world.
The biergarten is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. According to Cheapflights.com, King Max Joseph I decreed that beer could be served where it was brewed in 1812.
Beer gardens around the world will be celebrating Oktoberfest. The real Oktoberfest begins in Munich, Bavaria, Germany on September 22. It is a 16-day festival that is held annually and runs into early October. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and it is the largest fair in the world with over five million attendees each year. Millions come together to enjoy good German beer and food.
Cities around the world celebrate their own version of Oktoberfest since the festival is so popular. If you'd like to celebrate Oktoberfest, consider heading to one of the Top 10 Beer Gardens in the world as chosen by Cheapflights.com.
Hirschgarten, Munich, Germany
There is no better place to celebrate Oktoberfest than in Munich. Hirschgarten is Germany's largest biergarten. It is a historic and family friendly area with benches that seat up to 8,000 people. Hirschgarten, which means deer garden, got its name because of the deer that roam around the game reserve next to this establishment. Revelers can stop by here for a few pints of popular Augustiner beer from Munich's oldest still independent brewery and then take in views of the nearby Nymphenburg Palace.
Taxisgarten, Munich, Germany
Taxisgarten isn't as old as Hirschgarten, but it has been in operation since 1924. It first opened as a sanatorium for WWI veterans but it eventually opened to the public. It is near Taxisklinik, Bavaria's largest maternity clinic, so births are often celebrated here. The 1,500 guest biergarten even has a play area for kids so adults and children can enjoy themselves. Hofbräu is one of the most popular beers served here.
Airbräu, Munich Airport, Germany
Those entering or leaving Germany can celebrate at Munich Airports' very own beer garden. The Airbräu is between terminals 1 and 2 and it is the only airport brewery in the world. To go along with the airport theme, this beer garden has specially named beers like FliegerQuell, Kumulus and Jetstream and seasonal brews that include Aviator and Mayday. The first barrel of Mayday is tapped in May 1.
Estabrook Park Beer Garden, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Milwaukee is a big beer city as the trade of brewing has been practiced since Germany immigrants settled there in the 19th century. Estsabrook Park Beer Garden is brand new and it is the country's first beer garden in a park since Prohibition. The garden lies in a 50-acre park next to the Milwaukee River. The beer garden is open seven days a week from no one to 9 p.m., depending on the weather. It stays open from Memorial Day to the end of September and then it is open on the weekends until November 24. Popular beers here include Hofbräu Original Lager, Dunkel Lager and Hefe Weizen.
Radegast Hall & Biergarten, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Beer gardens have made a comeback in New York after several were shut down in the 1920's due to Prohibition and during war time. The Bohemian Hall in Queens is a historic New York City beer garden, but Cheapflight.com picked Radegast Hall & Biergarten in Brooklyn as their favorite for its "rustic décor, hearty fare and great brews," which capture the "ambiance of Oktoberfest."
Yaletown Brewing Company, Vancouver, Canada
Yaletown Brewing Company is a favorite as it has won many awards such as Best Brewpub in Canada and Readers' Choice awards for Best in Vancouver. It is located in a renovated warehouse in a trendy district of Vancouver. This establishment has long, narrow seats outside, providing the perfect place for locals and visitors to sit down for a pitcher.
Praça Hercílio Luz, Blumenau, Brazil
This German settlement in Brazil is famous for its popular Oktoberfest celebration. According to Cheapflights, "more than 550,000 showed up and more than 626,000 liters of beer were downed" in 2011. This year's festival will be held Oct. 10-28, but this city celebrates the heritage of Germany all year. It is home to a beer museum, a WWII monument, and of course, a beer garden. Blumenau serves Germany beers, but they also brew their own. Eisenbahn, Bierland and Unser Bier are the most popular micro-breweries here.
Forest Beer Garden, Tokyo, Japan
Even Japan has a beer garden. This beer garden is located inside Meiji Shrine's Outer Gardens. It serves German food, but the beers are mostly Japanese brands such as Kirin Ichiban Shibori, Kirin Ichiban Shibori Stout. They also serve Budweiser at this space that seats 1,000, making it Tokyo's largest beer garden. It gets very busy and advanced reservations are recommended.
Bräustübl Tavern, Salzburg, Austria
This old brewery has been creating beer since 1621. This large beer tavern that seats 1,500 drinkers is the largest in the country. What makes it unique is that it is self-service and the beer comes from classic wooden barrels. The beer of choice here is Augustiner.
Lowenbrau Keller, Sydney, Australia
This beer garden in the popular Rocks district celebrates German culture all year as staff wear classic German costumes, but they celebrate Oktoberfest the same time as Munich does. Guests can sample the Stiegl Goldbräu, Paulaner Premium Pils and Spaten München. Spaten München is traditionally the first keg that is tapped to kick off Oktoberfest.