Near Nymphenburg Park, Munich's premier sightseeing attraction, the Schoss Nymphenburg, is a beer garden called the Hirschgarten. It is part of a 200 - hectare (494 - acre) park with hunting lodges and lakes. It's the largest open-air restaurant in Munich, seating some 8,000 beer drinkers .From our home, it is just a twenty-minute bicycle ride to this beer garden. We ride through meadows and along streams to finally arrive at the Hirschgarten. Then our immediate problem becomes where to park the bike? As you can see from my photo of just one bike park, there are thousands of bikes in the park.
Steve, my husband, is standing at our table in front of a tree with a sign posted on it. The sign is common in most of Munich's beer gardens. It says that per government ruling, the people of Bavaria are free to bring their own food to the beer garden, but any beer on the premises must be purchased from the vendor. I love this about Bavaria. No one is excluded from enjoying the lovely shaded garden.
The customs that are practiced in order to run an orderly beer garden are interesting in themselves.
The first step is to pick out your beer stein from the thousands of glasses provided in shelves.
Next, the idea is to take your glass stein and rinse it out in a sink of clean running water in large stainless steel sinks.
Finally, you take your clean glass to the bartender and he fills your glass straight from the keg.
The menu consists of sausages, rotiserie chicken, assorted salads, pomme frittes, and soft pretzels.
And, of course, there is plenty of beer!
If you should wander a short ways from the beer garden you will have a special treat. These deer make the Hirschgarten their home.