At the turn of the 20th century, Scheutzen Park had a German biergarten on the shores of Lake Monona near what is today Yahara Place Park, just a few blocks from Olbrich Park. Since the 1930s, the University of Wisconsin’s Memorial Union Terrace has been creating gemütlichkeit overlooking Lake Mendota. The Biergarten at Olbrich Park is honored to join this tradition of enlivening outdoor community gathering spots with food, drink, and fun.
Biergartens started in Europe almost five-hundred years ago. Brewing and storing beer, especially the lagers of Bavaria, requires cold conditions. Breweries planted shade trees and placed reflective gravel over their cellars to lower the temperatures below. It wasn’t long before picnic tables and polka bands showed up to put the outdoor space to good use. Biergartens in public places were ubiquitous in America before prohibition, and are now making a return.
The Biergarten at Olbrich Park opened in 2017, alongside Rutabaga Paddlesports, in an agreement with the City of Madison to bring new activities and attract more people to Madison's expansive Olbrich Park. We're proud to serve all Wisconsin craft beers and ciders and source our food from local farmers, butchers, bakers, and cheesemakers. We continue the centuries-old tradition of welcoming you to bring your own picnic lunches or dinners to the biergarten as well.
Creating a vibrant public biergarten takes a whole community and we are grateful to our vendors, supporters, and most importantly our customers who have made this dream a reality. Prost!