The Pennsylvania Beer Garden Bucket List

What’s better than a few beers with friends? A few beers with friends in a beer garden! The modern beer garden, or “biergarten,” grew out of the early Bavarian practice of storing beer on gravel floors with shade trees nearby to keep the beer cool. Eventually, someone thought to add tables and chairs, and voila! Beer gardens have since become cherished, seasonal rendezvous points for communities to gather, unwind and enjoy some fresh brews.

Beer Garden

Since we last showcased 12 Beer Gardens in PA You Can’t Miss, the PA beer garden landscape has continued to evolve. Following the pandemic, restaurants and breweries have innovated uses for outdoor space, allowing us to enjoy a slice of the great outdoors while we imbibe. 

If you’re ready to take your pint outside, we’ve got a full flight of Pennsylvania beer gardens for you: 

NEPA & the Lehigh Valley

Second District Brew Farm

Second District Brew Farm has stunning views and unmatched tranquility. Opening annually in the spring through Labor Day (and only on weekends), the Brew Farm is a rural outpost to Philadelphia’s Second District Brewing. At the beer garden you’ll find its artful drafts in rotation, like the Mosiac hopped Bancroft pale ale with notes of lychee and fresh blueberry muffin. There’s a farm-to-table wood fired menu, a la carte cheese bar, and plenty of rolling green meadow on which to spread out and enjoy yourself. 163 Fallsdale Rd., Milanville; (570) 616-1344.

Barley Creek Brewing Company’s Pint Size Park and Biergarten is a blast for the whole family. This Pocono Mountain destination is spacious with plenty of cozy seating. There’s cornhole, a baseball diamond, and a food truck with house-smoked barbecue. Head to the tiki bar for a brew crafted on site, like the Citrabellum double IPA, and soak in the mountain views. The biergarten opens from May through October, with pop-ups before and after! Keep an eye on their socials for updates. 1774 Sullivan Trail, Tannersville; (570) 629-9399. 

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Wanderlust is a massive beer garden that aims to please. Arranged into “neighborhoods,” you can pull an Adirondack chair up to a firepit, take the kids to the on-site playgrounds or hunker down in the picnic area. Order from a vintage Citroën food truck to try fried cheese curds, flat breads (gluten-free options available) and burgers. Draft beers, seltzers and ciders are in perpetual rotation. Wanderlust is a feast for all the senses, open late April through October. 1600 Sullivan Trail, Forks Township; (610) 438-1093.

At Brü Daddy’s Brewing Company, the Garden is the place to be. This Bavarian-inspired space runs between two brick buildings for a cozy feel and is open mid-March through October. There’s a fire pit and overhead heaters for chilly nights and a retractable awning for summer shade. Brü Daddy’s brews are made on site and pair beautifully with the wood-fired pizzas. Try the Kickin’ It Back dry-hopped IPA with a K-Pop (Korean barbecue) pie. 732 Hamilton St., Allentown; (610) 351-7600.

Southeastern PA

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Iron Gate Biergarten is a pup-friendly beer garden with superb industrial appeal. Set in a little alley in downtown Pottstown, it’s open from March through November with pop-ups in between. The beer and spirits list is fully PA-sourced with selections like ‘Merican Mule, Frecon Ciders, Troegs Independent Brewing and good old Yuengling. Iron Gate partners with area restaurants for rotating free food delivery and hosts festivities like live music, trivia nights, car shows and more! 230 E. High St., Pottstown; no phone.

Brothers on Brandywine Beer Garden is open Sundays, April through October, at the Brandywine Outfitters park. Enjoy a packed live music schedule and food trucks in a low-key environment. Bring a tube and hop in the Brandywine for a quick float, throw some axes, shop the crafty vendors or lounge in your camping chair on the grassy river banks. You can choose from an array of Brothers Kershner Brewing Company drafts and other rotating drink options. 2100 Strasburg Rd., Coatesville; (610) 222-2739.

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The Creamery, once a condensed milk factory, now serves as an art hub, watering hole, community event space and all-around destination point. There’s frequent live music, farmers markets, and special events like “Adult Prom” (it’s what it sounds like), block parties and the Longwood Gardens Plantology on Tap series. There’s ample seating and a great draft list plus canned brews, kombucha and cocktails. The Creamery’s locally sourced, seasonal food menu sure to scratch any itch. 401 Birch St., Kennett Square; (484) 732-7040; no phone.

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Pentridge Station Pop-up, made by locals, for locals, is a true West Philly oasis. Open early May through October, it hosts wildly fun and artsy events like watermelon glow parties, drag shows, comedy nights and global-inspired punk dance parties. You can upgrade the creative cocktails to sharable “Beach Buckets” and enjoy draft and canned beer, non-alcoholic options and hookah. The revolving catering and food trucks make it so you never repeat an experience, and each visit is fabulous. 5116 Pentridge St., Philadelphia; (267) 225-7790.

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The PHS Pop Up Gardens, South Street and Manayunk are put on by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and a neighborhood hospitality group. They transform barren outdoor spaces into verdant, accessible gardens open March through November. You’ll find summery drinks like Woodermelon (watermelon, vodka and ginger beer) and Founders Brewing’s Mortal Bloom hazy IPA to pair with tasty bites like a fried chicken sandwich (vegan option available) and onion rings. Visit the South Street and Manayunk calendars for special events, tap take-overs and horticultural programming. 1438 South St., Philadelphia; (no phone) and 106 Jamestown Ave., Philadelphia; (no phone).

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Independence Beer Garden is a sprawling beer garden that’s so lush, you might forget you’re in the city. It’s a stone’s throw from the Liberty Bell and offers beer on 40 rotating taps between April and October. The expansive, 20,000-square foot layout is divided into sections, giving each a homey feel. There are family-friendly games, like cornhole and bocce, and goodies like crispy fish tacos, and a massive fried chicken and waffle sandwich. 100 S. Independence Mall W., Philadelphia; (215) 922-7100.

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Parks on Tap is a roaming community beer garden that pops up from April through September throughout Philadelphia. Each week, the beer garden takes up residency in a new park or outdoor space like Clark Park, Dickinson Square Park, Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center and Strawberry Mansion Bridge. Enjoy local craft beer, wine and cocktails, non-alcoholic options and a full food menu with delights, like scallion pancakes and the Parks Smash burger. Made possible by a partnership between Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and FCM Hospitality, Parks on Taps benefits the Fairmount Park Conservancy and its host parks. Various locations. 

Central PA

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Warehouse District is a super-cool beer garden in a former Lancaster lumberyard. There are numerous sand and gravel pits for play, a stage for musical acts and loads of umbrella seating with room for big groups. Order from food trucks and enjoy Rural City beer, cider and wine. Open May through October with additional special pop-ups. 595 N. Charlotte St., Lancaster; (717) 335-8001.

Beer Garden at Wyndridge Farm

The Beer Garden at Wyndridge Farm has a down-home vibe with log seats around fire pits and sweeping verdant views. Guests can order shareables, hand-helds and wood-fired pizza, and sample the farm’s many craft beverages including Wyndridge Cider Co. ciders, Wyndridge Vines’ sparkling fruit beverages and Winding Path Brewing Co. craft beer. The beer garden opens seasonally, when warm enough, with special events posted on Instagram. 885 S. Pleasant Ave., Dallastown; (717) 244-9900.

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Hidden Key Brewing Co. has an inviting backyard beer garden where you could while the day away. There’s cornhole, big shade awnings and a stage for live music. Hidden Key brews a great selection of beers from easy-drinking to hoppy to malt-forward. Food-wise, you can byo grub or order from the brewery’s suggested local eateries. It’s open spring through early fall. 101 W. Baltimore St., Greencastle; (717) 895-3816.

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Millworks is a lovely Harrisburg art-house/brewery focused on local artists and growers throughout its galleries, studios and brewery. The rooftop beer garden has tons of space with rows of picnic tables and heaters for brisk nights. Try goodies like deviled eggs, wood-grilled lamb lollipops and brisket pierogies and beers like Crossroads kolsch and Terra Mater tart. It’s open shoulder seasons and all summer long, weather permitting. 340 Verbeke St., Harrisburg; (717) 695-4888. 

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Berwick Brewing’s beer garden offers gorgeous view of the Susquehanna to breathe in while enjoying a house brewed ale and lager. Cheesesteaks and pizza are hot here, with over 20 pie options. It’s stocked full of Catawissa Bottling Co. sodas too — with fun flavors, like sarsaparilla and grapefruit. It opens when it’s warm enough, and closes when it’s too cold! 328 W. Front St., Berwick; (570) 752-4313.

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Straub Brewery is one of the oldest family-owned and operated breweries in the US and shows no signs of slowing down. Its massive beer garden, open in warm months, spills out from the taproom and over a large, lush lawn. House specialties include beef on weck and a braunschweiger melt, pairing beautifully with the flagship house lager, amber, light and brite beers. 444 Brusselles St., St. Marys; (814) 834-2876.

At the tippy-top of central PA, in a town called Sayre, you’ll find the Hotel Bradford and Beer Garden. The fenced-in lawn and garden behind the gastropub has loads of backyard vibes, with picnic tables and cornhole. Guests rave about their draft flights, cheesesteaks and the family-feel. You’ll often catch live music, too! 108 N. Thomas Ave., Sayre; (570) 890-9111.

Western PA

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You’ll love the views at Oliver’s Beer Garden, which overlooks the Erie Bayfront and glimpses the US Brig Niagara sailing to her nearby port. There’s a food truck, and cocktails like “Earl Gray Skies,” a variety of mules, wine and drafts, like Oliver’s signature Shipfaced by Rusty Rail Brewing Company. Play putt putt on the on-site course for $10, or sit back and take in the maritime scenery. Open April through October. 130 E. Front St., Erie; (814) 920-9666.

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Riverside Brewing Company is a music-lover’s paradise, with acts performing May through October and a weekend-long music festival in June. The rustic space has a corrugated steel bar, a large wooden trellis for shade, and grassy areas to spread out. You’ll love the elevated homespun bites like skillet Brussels sprouts and Parmesan-crusted chicken. Their tasty beers, like Sugar Moon maple amber and Hazy River IPA, complete the package. 1 Fountain Ave., Cambridge Springs; (814) 813-5005.

Roundabout Brewing Pop Up Beer Garden is a no-frills beer garden in a sublime little spot along the Ohio River in Pittsburgh. With pop-ups through spring, it really picks up speed in May. You can reach the beer garden from the North Side portion of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, which runs along the Pittsburgh river banks. Though Roundabout Brewing has closed, the pop-up beer garden is still in effect, with food trucks, great beer, seating, shade and views. What more could you want? 1836 Oxline St., Pittsburgh; no phone.

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At Golden Age Beer Company, the clean crisp lagers are the name of the game. Brewed in a 15-barrel system in Homestead, just outside of Pittsburgh, its beers include a Cologne-style kölsch and a Düsseldorf-style altbier. The food menu shows Pittsburgh pride with sharable sweet and savory pierogies, Lenten fried-fish sandwich and a Pittsburgh panuozzo. Patrons can pull up a stool to the high-tops or settle into picnic tables as the weather allows, typically March through November. 337 E. 8th Ave., Homestead; (412) 205-3635.

Want to take a more granular look at the agriculture behind beer? Check out our series Grain to Grass!

  • Feature photo: Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
  • All other photos: Courtesy of their respective businesses