You’re probably thinking, “Yay, an article about beer – this is going to be fun!” Well, you’re wrong. It’s going to be hard work. I mean, you can’t very well enjoy your beer without a proper understanding of Bavarian history and refrigeration, can you? No! So sit down, get out your note pad and I promise that when you’ve finished this article, the enjoyment factor of your next cold one will be increased by at least forty-seven percent.*
In 19th century Bavaria, brewers had a problem. The ideal temperature for beer fermentation was in the winter months, but their patrons wanted to enjoy fresh, cold beer all spring, summer and fall. Most people didn’t have refrigerators, much less walk-in coolers, so these pioneering brewers dug large cellars under the riverbanks to keep their prized beer cool until the warmer months.
When you think about it, things really haven’t changed all that much. Electricity and refrigeration are now commonplace, but people still long to sit back with their friends and enjoy an ice-cold beer in the hot sun or on a warm, summer or fall evening. And what better place to do that than on Long Island?
Beer gardens – or biergartens in German – are one of my favorite places to unwind after a long day of work, to shoot the breeze with friends on a lazy afternoon or even to bring a (second) date for a pre- or after-dinner drink. So, without further ado (that wasn’t so hard, was it?), here are a couple of my favorite Long Island beer gardens.
The summer might have come and gone, but Long Island beer gardens are always a great place to grab a bite and a beer, or to boisterously discuss world history.
Plattduetsche Park Restaurant
This family-friendly German restaurant hosts a beer garden every Friday from May through November. The beer garden is free and even offers you the opportunity to learn about various beer selections and how different beers are brewed. Plattduetsche currently has six beers on tap and four others available by bottle, so you always have multiple choices to pick from. My personal favorite is the Paulaner Hefe-Weissbier. The Friday beer garden also boasts live bands, performing both traditional German and modern music.
I would highly suggest getting there early so that you have the whole night to enjoy good German cuisine, beer and music. Don’t let the warm(ish) weather pass you by without a visit to Plattduetsche Park!
Middle Country Beer Garden
If you’re looking for a beer garden with more of a more party atmosphere, this is your place. Middle Country Beer Garden has an extensive selection of beers – over 30 the last time I counted. There are daily events and drink specials catering to all kinds of tastes – the dollar beers special from 9pm-12am on Wednesdays isn’t too shabby. A smorgasbord of music keeps the vibe lively and fun, running the gamut from country music to hip hop.
Contrary to the casual sound of the term “beer garden,” Middle Country keeps it chic with a dress code, so leave the gardening gear at home and dress to impress. You must be 21 or older to enter.
The summer might have come and gone, but Long Island beer gardens are still a great place to grab a bite and a beer, or to boisterously discuss world history. Don’t forget to give a hearty cheers to those 19th century Bavarian brewmasters. Without them, enjoying a cold beer under the sun and stars might have been a lost art.
* Increased enjoyment rates may vary based on your dedication to LIB Magazine.