Garden ordinance

King Ludwig I and beer garden ordinance

Brewing of beer was forbidden in the summer because boiling constituted a fire hazard. Therefore, a beer supply had to be arranged. For this reason special beer cellars were established, in general nearby the brewery. However, these cellars could not be constructed deep enough due to the high groundwater level in Munich. Shady trees were planted to combat the harsh summer sun. The chestnut, the native tree with large leaves, grew to become a roof for the underground beer cellars – and thus became the traditional beer garden tree. As the brewers wanted to sell their beer directly to the people, they set up tables and benches under the chestnut trees and offered their cool beer for sale. King Ludwig I approved the beer bar but decreed, out of consideration for the Munich innkeeper, that sale of food by the brewers was not allowed. That meant that customers who wanted to enjoy their liter of beer in the shade of the chestnut trees had to bring their own snacks.