Top Beer Gardens In Connecticut

May 21, 2015 8:00 AM

Beer (Photo by Jan Pitman/Getty Images)

The beer garden, or biergarten, originated in Germany two centuries ago as a communal outdoor area for people to drink and socialize. The concept then spread to several other countries, including the U.S., where the first beer gardens appeared in New York in the early 20th century. They have been gaining in popularity in Connecticut, as several bars, breweries and restaurants adding them to attract customers. These are some of the best in the state for spending a warm day under the sun enjoying a cold beer.
The Beer Garden
112 Washington St.
South Norwalk, CT 06854
(203) 939-9302
www.thebeergardensono.com

Since opening in 2014, The Beer Garden in South Norwalk has impressed with its fun atmosphere and superb assortment of brew. This garden is bountiful indeed, with over six dozen local and national craft beers, not to mention several offerings from Germany, Belgium, Ireland and Japan. Drink at one of the large picnic tables and enjoy music from local DJs and bands, or drop by with a group of friends and challenge them to a game of giant Jenga.

The Old Heidelberg
55 Stony Hill Road
Bethel, CT 06801
(203) 797-1860
www.oldheidelbergct.com

Making a trip to Bethel’s Old Heidelberg is the next best thing to traveling to Germany itself. The cozy German restaurant has an attractive, gravel-floored beer garden that fills up during its annual Oktoberfest celebration, however, it is worth visiting any time the weather permits. Savor a tall glass of Radeberger Pilsner, or one of its thirty German bottled beers, from Aecht to Erdinger to Weihenstephaner. Don’t miss its all-you-can-eat buffet every Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

East Side Restaurant
131 Dwight St.
New Britain, CT 06051
(860) 223-1188
www.eastsiderestaurant.com

This longtime fixture in New Britain underwent renovations in 2009, including the installation of an upper-level beer garden. Among the many German brews it pours are Spaten Optimator, Warsteiner Pilsner and Franziskaner Hefe-Weiss. No matter which one you order, the staff, dressed in traditional German garb, will break into the restaurant’s traditional cheer. They’ll get especially excited if you order a larger size, including the 2-liter served in a souvenir “Das Boot” stein.

Related:  Top Craft Beer Happy Hours In Connecticut

Two Roads Beer Garden
500 Main St.
Bridgeport, CT 06604
(203) 345-4800
www.bridgeportbluefish.com

Stratford’s Two Roads is one of the state’s best breweries, and now it is expanding its beer garden. In addition to the one at its home headquarters, Two Roads has opened another beer garden at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard, home of the Atlantic League Baseball team the Bridgeport Bluefish. The Two Roads Beer Garden debuted at the stadium this April in time for the 2015 season. There’s no better way to celebrate summer in Connecticut than by taking in a ball game and sipping a local specialty like Two Roads Ol’ Factory Pils or Workers Comp Saison.

Sign Of The Whale
6 Harbor Point Rd.
Stamford, CT 06902
(203) 883-8282
www.signofthewhalect.com

A recent addition to Stamford’s Harbor Point, Sign of The Whale is distinguished by its large rooftop beer garden with its great view of the shoreline. The draft list includes selections from Goose Island, Sea Dog and Cisco. It also offers over thirty bottles, some of which are hard to find, like California’s Arragant Bastard and a couple of fruit and vegetable beers, Abita Purple Haze and Wells Banana Bread. Pair your brew with a Whale Burger topped with smoked bacon, fried egg, gruyere cheese and truffle spread.

Related: Top Bars With a Rotating Beer Menu In Connecticut

Joshua Palmes is a freelance writer covering all things Connecticut. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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