There’s something about sitting outside under a canopy of shade trees sipping local brews and grabbing a bite to eat with friends that makes hanging out in a beer garden one of life’s many pleasures. And with a flourishing craft beer scene now in Atlanta, most breweries and brewpubs throughout the city have created delightfully casual outdoor spaces where people can gather together and commune over beer and a little food, too.
It’s hard to find a brewery in Atlanta these days without some sort of outdoor space for drinking beer al fresco. But what makes a beer garden different from a patio? Some would argue nothing, while others would say look to the origins of this incredibly social, outdoor beer-drinking space: Bavaria in southern Germany.
By definition, beer gardens (biergartens) are open-air seating areas usually surrounded by shade trees and featuring a permeable floor surface (dirt, pebbles, gravel, wood chips, etc.) where both beer and food are served to people sitting at communal tables. Eater rounded up six such spaces found at breweries and brewpubs around Atlanta that imbue the spirit of the biergarten, serving everything from hot dogs, Belgian waffles, and burgers to brisket poutine, giant soft pretzels, and shrimp and grits.
Red’s Beer Garden — Benteen Park
The outdoor seating in back of this Benteen Park beer-drinking destination is where most people choose to sit. Featuring both deck seating and picnic tables scattered in the backyard under the pine trees, Red’s Beer Garden has become a gathering place for Atlantans to sip beers on draft or by the can while indulging in hot dogs, pulled pork nachos, and even brunch tacos. Cider and wine are also available. Dogs on leashes welcome. Family friendly.
Wild Heaven Beer — West End
The second location of this Avondale Estates brewery opened in 2019 along the Westside Beltline trail in West End, and the sprawling beer garden here is one of its best features. Flanking the Beltline, and running the length of the brewery, Wild Heaven’s beer garden includes both shady and sunny spots fashioned with casual conversation areas equipped with Adirondack chairs and long picnic tables perfect for gathering groups of friends (or meeting new ones.) Order European-style pilsners, a Belgian saison, and even a porter spiced with nutmeg, cardamom, and coffee called Garden Beer from the taproom or container bar outside. Pair that beer with a shrimp po’boy, brisket sandwich, or mango habanero wings. Pop by in the mornings for coffee from Finca to Filter at the corner counter in the taproom. Dogs on leashes welcome. Family friendly.
Bold Monk Brewing Co. — Underwood Hills
This Underwood Hills brewpub expanded its already generous seating arrangements to the outdoors during the pandemic, creating one of the most beautiful beer gardens in Atlanta. Surrounding by mature shade trees and foot paths, the beer garden at Bold Monk features several seating areas, complete with fire pits for cool fall evenings. There’s often live music, too. Expect everything from crisp lagers and saisons to seasonal and special releases from the brewery, including an Irish stout and a Russian imperial stout aged in ASW Fiddler bourbon barrels. Pair beer with Belgian frites, the lamb burger, or a shrimp and grain bowl. Dogs on leashes welcome. Family friendly.
Georgia Beer Garden — Sweet Auburn
Billed as “downtown Atlanta’s largest backyard,” the outdoor seating at the aptly named Georgia Beer Garden is often filled with friends gathering for brews and bites in the evenings or on pleasant weekend afternoons. The Edgewood Avenue bar dedicates most of its drinks menu to beer, but cocktails and wine are also available. While the bar does serve some food, including fried pickle chips and sandwiches, folks will often find pop-ups in the garden alongside the container bar during the spring and summer. Follow on Instagram for menu and pop-up updates. Dogs on leashes welcome. Family friendly in the afternoons.
Brick Store Pub — Decatur
This popular Decatur beer pub offers a lengthy list of local, Belgian, and hard-to-find beers on the menu and on the more than two dozens taps. It also includes a beer garden behind the pub, complete with a fire pit, its own beer list, snacks, a patio bar, and plenty of shady spots for both people and their dogs to relax. Dine on giant soft pretzels with beer cheese, fried pierogi, a bacon and pimento cheese burger, griddled mac and cheese, or a steak sandwich while sipping on locally brewed lagers and hoppy IPAs or imported hefeweizens, zwickelbiers, and English bitters. Dogs on leashes welcome. Family friendly.