Great American Beer Gardens
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Not Just in Germany: 16 Great American Beer Gardens

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Great American Beer Gardens
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Beer gardens got their start in 16th-century Germany, but you don't have to travel to Bavaria to find big outdoor patios, long communal tables, good food, and superb beer. Here are some great beer gardens across the United States with specials that save patrons a buck or two.

Related: Best Oktoberfests Across America

VBGB Beer Hall & Garden, Charlotte, North Carolina
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VBGB Beer Hall & Garden | Charlotte, North Carolina

VBGB serves 30 types of craft beer and imports on a huge patio. A "frost rail," a 5-inch block of ice, runs the length of the bar — perfect for keeping those brews cold. The restaurant has weekly specials (including $3 craft beer on Tuesday) and often posts deals on its social media accounts.

Gemüt Biergarten
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Gemüt Biergarten | Columbus, Ohio

Located in the heart of Columbus's Olde Town East in a former firehouse, Gemüt is a brewery, beer garden, and restaurant combo. The menu includes plenty of wurst, schnitzel, and a host of other dishes inspired by southeastern European countries. Though it currently only has a small handful of German-style beers on the menu, more are coming, and Gemüt also offers wine and spirits.

Related: 19 of the Oldest Breweries in America

Killmeyer's Old Bavaria Inn, Staten Island, New York
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Killmeyer's Old Bavaria Inn | Staten Island, New York

Killmeyer's has been around a long time — it was already in business when Nicolas Killmeyer bought it (and changed its name) around 1855. In addition to a traditional restaurant and live entertainment, there's a pretty awesome beer garden. It boasts some weekly specials and happy hour deals, such as $6 bratwurst hoagies, from 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays.

The Bauernhof at Grant's Farm, St. Louis
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The Bauernhof at Grant's Farm | St. Louis

Grant's Farm (free admission; $15 for parking) was bought by the Busch family — as in Anheuser-Busch — from former president Ulysses S. Grant. It has rides, baby goats to feed, and other children's attractions for a small fee and also a courtyard beer garden. Guests of age can sample Anheuser-Busch products for free with lunch.

Related: Best Cheap Beers for Fall

Greenwood Park, Brooklyn, New York
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Greenwood Park | Brooklyn, New York

Greenwood Park is a family-friendly beer garden built out of an old gas station and mechanic shop. It boasts 60 beer lines, bocce ball courts, and a menu with traditional bar fare as well as vegetarian and vegan options. Drinks are $2 off during happy hours from noon to 7 p.m.

Hofbräuhaus, St. Petersburg, Florida
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Hofbräuhaus St. Petersburg | St. Petersburg, Florida

The legendary Bavarian beer garden and restaurant in Munich, Germany, has lent its name to about a half-dozen franchises stateside. Hofbräuhaus St. Petersburg offers daily live entertainment and classic German fare. There are plenty of $5 happy hour specials, including well drinks, house wines, and half-liter beers.

Related: 15 Drinking Pilgrimages You Need to Make

Frankford Hall, Philadelphia
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Frankford Hall | Philadelphia

Picnic-table-style outdoor seating is one of the allures of Philadelphia's Frankford Hall. The restaurant, in a renovated industrial space featuring reclaimed materials and exposed brick walls, offers classics including sausages, spätzle, and $7 German drafts. Revelers can munch on $4.50 Bavarian pretzels around fire pits between games of table tennis.

The Rathskeller, Indianapolis
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The Rathskeller | Indianapolis

The Rathskeller in downtown Indianapolis is known for live music as well as for its Bavarian-style food and brews. There's a rotating menu of lunch specials that can help visitors save a few bucks while chowing down. The historic building's beer garden has its own walk-up bar for beer and pub food.

Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden, Austin, Texas
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Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden | Austin, Texas

The Easy Tiger is not only a creek-side beer garden but a bake shop famed for its pretzels. There are a few daily and weekly specials, including a 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. happy hour on weekdays, with discounts on food as well as drinks, and a $12 sandwich of the day, served with a side and drink, from 11 a.m. until the food sells out.

Related: 50 Beloved Hometown Bakeries Across America

Estabrook Park Beer Garden, Milwaukee
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Estabrook Park Beer Garden | Milwaukee

Estabrook is a truly public beer garden — it's within Milwaukee's Estabrook Park, near a waterfall. Managers say visitors arrive to enjoy imported German beers by foot, bike, car, kayak, and canoe. There's food for purchase, but customers can also bring their own food and soft drinks.

Related: 33 Idyllic Parks That Bring Nature to the City

Bohemian Biergarten
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Bohemian Biergarten | Boulder, Colorado

The Bohemian Biergarten has an extensive menu of traditional German and Czech foods and brews. Visit during happy hour — 3 to 6 p.m. on weekdays, and all day on Thursdays — to take advantage of food and drink combos or to save $2 off 1-liter beers and wines. Well drinks are $4.

The Handlebar, Tempe, Arizona
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The Handlebar | Tempe, Arizona

Handlebar Tempe, touted as a bike-friendly beer garden, offers 24 beers on draft plus a huge selection of can, bomber, and bottle options. Along with loads of specials, there are happy hours, Whiskey Tuesdays, and Jameson Thursdays, when shots are two for the price of one. They take drinking seriously here — but there are hand-cut fries, burgers, freshly baked pretzels, and local sausages to nosh on, too.

Related: The Best Bike Trails in All 50 States

Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant, Mountain View, California
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Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant | California

Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant is a modern American take on the traditional German biergarten in Mountain View and Cupertino, California. It has more than 30 craft and import beers on tap and a comfort-food menu. Happy hours make this high-end spot more affordable, but diners who sample the ghost pepper hot sauce might be happy to pay any price for a beer to put out its fire.

Short North Pint House, Columbus, Ohio
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Short North Pint House | Columbus, Ohio

At the Short North Pint House, revelers can order what the pub calls a Gusto — a respectable 32-ounce beer for $10 — or the $6 beer sampler, which includes three beers from the draft list. A happy hour offers patrons half off selected food and drinks, with options changing daily.

Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden, Austin, Texas
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Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden | Austin, Texas

Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden is just what it sounds like: a satisfying mix of sausage and beer. It cranks out more than 2,000 pounds of sausage every week, stages live music two to three times a week, and even has a dog park where pets can eat dog-friendly sausages. Specials include Sunday's "manmosa" — basically a whole bottle of champagne in a giant mug with a splash of juice.

Lowry Beer Garden
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Lowry Beer Garden | Denver

For a beer garden with a real Oktoberfest kind of feel, there's Lowry — a massive 9,000 square feet of outdoor garden area, vast open-air seating, and a covered pavilion to escape the scorching mile-high sun. With a family-friendly atmosphere, Lowry offers a straightforward menu of brats and dogs, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and a kids' menu. It has around 16 beers on tap, and 30 or so bottled and canned varieties. The 3-6 p.m., Monday-Friday happy hour offers $4 drafts, well drinks, and wine. Finally, with seating for around 500, it's unlikely you'll ever have to wait for a table.