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22nd May 2012
Celebrations for the bicentennial of Bavarian beer gardens will see festivals and events across the region
This year sees the 200th anniversary of the Bavarian beer garden. In 1812 an edict was passed that allowed beer brewers to sell beer and bread to punters and gardens have since sprung up all over Bavaria allowing visitors to enjoy locally brewed ales. The high consumption of beer in the Middle Ages meant that it became an important economic factor for towns and, with the arrival of the gardens, it continues to do so.
As well as the annual Oktoberfest festival, this year the beer gardens will celebrate their 200 years in existence with festivals and events throughout the summer. On the 21-22 July Munich's Beer Garden Weekend will see gardens across the city host music, dancing and Bavarian food.
Hugely popular in Munich, beer gardens are seen as an easy and informal meeting point for locals and a massive draw for visitors. Beers are sold by the litre in very large tankards and visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic with them, although most gardens do offer food for sale, too. If you don't think you can handle a whole litre of beer at once then you might be pleased to know that a typical drink on offer is the 'Radler', which is a mix of beer and lemonade or lemon soda.
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