How To: Turn your backyard into a beer garden

Turn your backyard into a beer garden

Why have a plain old barbecue when you can host an Oktoberfest? Make it authentic with these tips.
You Will Need
* Picnic tables
* Blue-and-white checked tablecloths
* German beer
* Beer mugs or steins
* German sausages
* German foods
* Polka music
* Apple strudel or black forest cake
* Iced coffee
* Fresh whipped cream
* German wine (optional)

Step 1: Set up picnic tables
Set up wooden picnic tables with tablecloths featuring the blue-and-white checkered design of the Bavarian flag. If possible, put the tables under a shaded area.

It's better to have one long table rather than a few small ones, because beer gardens are all about mingling.

Step 2: Have plenty of beer
Have plenty of German beer on hand, including light beer, lagers, pilsners, and wheat beer. Serve the beer in half-liter or liter mugs, or covered beer steins.

Have some German wine on hand, like Riesling and Spatburgunder, for non-beer drinkers.

Step 3: Throw wurst on the grill
Grill different kinds of sausages, like bratwurst, weisswurst, and knockwurst. Another beer garden staple is "steckerlfisch," or "fish on a stick." Stick whole mackerel on skewers and grill them.

Step 4: Prepare the side dishes
Put out bowls of sauerkraut, warm German potato salad, and red cabbage. Make sure each picnic table has a big basket of soft pretzels and sweet, coarse mustard.

Step 5: Pipe in some polka
Pipe in some oom pah pah polka music.

Step 6: Give a lot of toasts
Ask everyone to raise their glass so you can offer a toast. When you're finished, say "Prost!" which is the German word for "Cheers!" Do this often.

Step 7: Bring on dessert
Have apple strudel or black forest cake for dessert, and serve it with ice coffees topped with fresh whipped cream.

Fact: One of the most famous beer gardens is Munich is called the Chinesischer Turm, or Chinese Tower, because of its pagoda-style building.

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