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 in Atlanta, most breweries and brewpubs throughout the city have created delightfully casual outdoor spaces where people gather together and commune over beer and a little food.
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) where both beer and food are served to people sitting at communal tables.
Eater rounded up five such spaces found at breweries and brewpubs around Atlanta that imbue the spirit of the traditional biergarten, serving everything from hot dogs, Belgian waffles, and burgers to brisket poutine, giant soft pretzels, and currywurst.
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. The neighborhood beer garden also regularly hosts Punk Bingo, pairing the classic game of chance with punk rock music trivia. Cider and wine are 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 and pastries from Finca to Filter inside the taproom. Dogs on leashes welcome. Family friendly.
Bold Monk Brewing Co. — Underwood Hills
The Underwood Hills brewpub expanded its already generous seating arrangements inside 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, on weekends and at night. 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.
Halfway Crooks Beer — Summerhill
Summerhill brewery Halfway Crooks Beer transformed an empty lot across the street into a bustling beer garden where friends and families crowd around picnic tables and in covered seating areas on weekend afternoons. The brewery revamped the biergarten over the winter, which features a container bar with ten draft lines serving German helles, kolsches, and Czech and Belgian pilsners among its beer selections, as well as non-alcoholic cocktails. There’s also a to-go beer window now, restrooms, and a merch shop in the biergarten. Expect food trucks serving dishes like currywurst and burgers, along with live music on the new stage and a big screen for taking in a few sporting events on the TV. Reopening mid-May. Tentative hours Friday through Sunday, with hours expanding in the summer. Dogs on leashes welcome. Family friendly.
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 its more than two dozens taps. Brick Store Pub also includes a beer garden behind the building, 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. Reopening in May. Dogs on leashes welcome. Family friendly.