Wednesday, March 14, 2018

What (and where) is a Beer Garden? Announcement for The Session: Beer Blogging Friday #134.

The Session: Beer Blogging Friday is a monthly event for the beer blogging community, begun in March of 2007 by Stan Hieronymus of Appellation Beer and Jay Brooks of the Brookston Beer Bulletin.

On the first Friday of every month, a pre-determined beer blogger hosts The Session, choosing a specific, beer-related topic, inviting all bloggers to write on it, and posting a roundup of all the responses received.

For The Session: Beer Blogging Friday #134, on 6 April 2018, I am that pre-determined host. And I've determined that my topic is ...

Beer Gardens

"A Beer Garden" (Jean Pagès, 1933)

What is a beer garden? Or what isn't a beer garden? Or what should a beer garden be? Or where is a beer garden?

Is a beer garden a place of foliage and shrubberies? Or is it a plot of concrete with umbrellas? Is a beer garden an outdoor bar? Or an outdoor Biergarten pavilion with Gemütlichkeit und Bier? Or is a beer garden to be found at a brewery with a hop trellis de rigueur?

Hop-pickers' lunch

Is a beer garden to be found outdoors, or can it be, alternatively, an interior third place, an arboretum with beer? Is a beer garden a real thing or is it a Platonic ideal, an imagined gueuzic nostalgia? Or is it a place indeed, once or often visited, not Bill Bryson in the woods, but Lew Bryson in a beer garden? If so, where is it? Tell us (with or without Lew).

According to the Beer Bloggers Conference, there are over 1,000 active "Citizen Beer Blogs" in North America, over 500 "Citizen Beer Blogs" throughout the rest of the world, and another couple hundred industry beer blogs. So, jump in folk. Please contribute!

How to play

On Friday, 6 April, post an essay on beer gardens to your blog. Then let me give you credit. Provide a link to the story by:

How to contribute WITHOUT a blog!

A blog itself isn't even necessary to contribute.

  • Compose a 280-character tweet and then link to me and/oror hashtag with #BeerBloggingFriday.
  • On Instagram, post a beer-gardenesque pic and then tag me and/or hashtag with #BeerBloggingFriday.
  • On Facebook, write a comment about beer gardens and tag me (YoursForGoodFermentables) or post a comment at my page.
  • Or, if so inspired, you could write an essay (300-500 words are ideal and 1,200 would be the most you'd want for a blog post, short-attention-span and all that) and send it to me bye the 6th. Use this form.

On a warm summer evening, I love to watch the light filter through the leaves of the dogwood and viburnum, with a beer in hand salad on the table, listening to the conversation of friends. "Why is it," I wonder, "that food and beer taste so much better together when we're in the beer garden.
Dinner in the Beer Garden, by Lucy Saunders.

The topic is beer gardens: whatever they may be, wherever they may be. And even your backyard, Olmsted-esque or humble, might be a Moon Over Beer garden. On Friday, 6 April, tell the world about it. I'll round up all the contributions, whether they're blogged, emailed, tweeted, or 'grammed.'

Thanking you in advance,
Yours for good fermentables,
Thomas 'Tom' Cizauskas

  • Image credits (top to bottom):
    • A Beer Garden," by artist Jean Pagès, in 1933. As seen at Jay Brook's "Beer in Art" Tumblr.
    • Hogs Back Brewery's chairman Rupert Thompson gives a final look over the hop pickers’ lunch amid mature Farnham White Bine hops, the first planting of the hop variety in its native soil of Surrey, "since the last bines were grubbed up 85 years ago." Photo courtesy Martyn Cornell (at Zythophile).
    • "alebush, n. A bunch of ivy or other plant hung up as a tavern sign." —O.E.D. Word of the Day, on Twitter, 14 July 2017, using an illustration by Imogen Foxwell. All rights reserved.

  • For more from YFGF:


  1. Thanks for sharing, Thomas - I'll post some photos and recipes, cheers!

  2. Hi, thanks for the topic. As a newbie blogger this is my first ever Session contribution -

  3. Thanks for hosting, here's my contribution. Cheers!

  4. Thank you for the interesting topic. Here are my thoughts.

  5. Pardon my tardiness, Tom.

  6. Thanks for hosting. I have taken the lazy path:

  7. Hi Tom:

    Thanks for presenting an interesting topic for The Session. In a blogpost a little while back I linked to and commented on an essay that addressed your question some time ago. It was written a while before mine - mid-1800s in fact.

    I was trying to parse the entry rules to decide if, i) this entry qualifies at all, and ii) whether I am too late to submit.

    But I'll go ahead and do it anyway, pleading that as agent for the journalist in question, a man of by now rather advanced age, perhaps you will forgive us.

    All best from Toronto.

    Gary Gillman

  8. Hi Thomas,

    Sorry I'm very late on this post, it's been a crazy couple of weeks and I was traveling over the weekend. My post is here:

    Thanks for hosting!
    - Jon

  9. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often. click here

  10. Very interesting blog! If you make a trip to Italy drop by the Knulp pub.


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