Prost! Beer gardens and outdoor bars abound in Southwestern Connecticut

Let’s get something out of the way from the start: there’s a lot of debate about whether or not any of the so-called beer gardens in Southwestern Connecticut actually qualify as beer gardens.

Some argue that the only requirement for a beer garden is an outdoor seating area where brews and food are served. Pretty simple. Others might argue that there’s more to it than that — that the vast majority of the establishment must be outdoors, that it must have communal seating and that it must have shade from natural vegetation. Oh, and that there must be nods to German culture, whether it’s traditional music, fare or garb (lederhosen, anyone?). In that sense, the only true beer gardens exist in the old country, or maybe in Brooklyn.

But no matter what side of this debate you’re on, there’s no arguing this fact: the self-proclaimed “beer gardens” in the region are a hell of a lot of fun. From Stamford to Bethel to Stratford, these establishments are keeping the pints flowing and the energy popping as friends and strangers gather for what have grown to become the biggest parties in the region.

So where are the “beer gardens” and what do they have to offer? Let’s take a look (and while we’re at it, let’s find out where else you can enjoy a beer in the open air):

Scott Gargan

4 Responses

  1. Scott Gargan says:

    Hey Jim, thanks for reading! Old Heidelberg is the only one I came across, but if you have any suggestions for more, please send them my way at

  2. Jim says:

    Only one news-worthy one in the Danbury area? That’s too bad, but thanks for the tip on Old Heidelberg!

  3. Scott Gargan says:

    Hey Bob, thanks for the suggestion! I have added Bobby Q’s to our list. Take care.

  4. Bob LeRose says:


    You forgot to mention the,Beer Garden on the roof of Bobby Qs. We have been doing the actual Beer Garden thing for three years. Ours features 12 craft beers on Tap, Full Bar, live music and actual growing plants. Most unique venue in Westport.

    Bobby Qs