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What I've learned about Bavaria in beer gardens

By Will Hawkes

19 Aug 2022 · 8 min read

Editor's Note

The beer garden is a sacred place for many Bavarians. You should read this article as it provides an interesting deep dive into Bavarian culture.

The young man at the beer garden in Munich has his hands full. In one, he holds a liter-size stoneware mug, foam spilling untidily over its rim; with the other, he's carefully transferring a small, not entirely compliant child from a stroller to a long wooden bench.

It's just after 5 p.m., and this beer garden, Paulaner Am Nockherberg, is filling up. Chestnut trees cast shade over dozens of long, slim tables. Six middle-aged friends settle in a sun-dappled spot; a pensioner in a fedora and sports jacket browses the local newspaper, a glass of pale lager close at hand; and a couple, fresh from a jog, clutch plastic trays as they wait at the food hatch, behind a man with a huge pretzel hanging from one wrist.

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