Let’s face it, bars can get crowded, stuffy, and claustrophobic, especially on a busy Friday or Saturday night. Fortunately the Germans, who have always led the charge in all things beer-related, engineered a brilliant solution: The Biergarten. Or, as we like to say in English, the beer garden. These roomy outdoor venues in which to chug brews give patrons the elbow room and fresh air that one ought to have in order to truly relax. If you happen to want to relax in or near Baltimore, here’s a few biergartens worth checking out.
Leinenkugel’s Beer Garden
4 Market Pl.
Baltimore, MD 21202
(443) 208-3316

While not quite a “garden,” Leinenkugel’s is a glass pavilion-style bar on a prime piece of Baltimore real-estate, parked right at the entrance to Power Plant Live. This gives patrons not just good beer, an excellent variety of bar food, and the open air they crave, but also immediate access to all of the diversions that the Inner Harbor provides. The roof is retractable for the good days, but can be closed if the weather turns so that you don’t have to exit the bar the moment you feel rain-drops, nor do you need to leave if the air gets a bit chilly – they’ll just strike up their outdoor fire and keep the party going! And that’s good, because they have over 30 specialty draft beers on tap.

The Old Stein Inn
1143 Central Ave. E.
Edgewater, MD 21037
(410) 798-1544

As a county, Baltimore is relatively urban, so sometimes you have to drive a little out of the way to find a lush and lavish beer garden, but when you arrive at the Old Stein Inn, you’ll be glad that you did. Old Stein Inn goes for a very German feel, and that’s no gimmick. It was founded by a couple of German immigrants who brought over their beer and food recipes, and it still holds to those traditions. Holds to them pretty well, too, as it has been featured on “The Best Of Show” on The Food Network. Come enjoy traditionally brewed German beers and a traditionally cooked German meal in a traditional German garden setting, all served up by traditional Germans. Lots of people come from far away to check this place out. You should be one of them.

Piazza Beer Garden
7401 Woodmont Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20814
(202) 841-9114

If you want to take a trip to experience the various cultural traditions that beer gardens inspire, your next stop should be Piazza. A thoroughly Italian experience, they operate by a laid back, community-focused philosophy. As one might expect, the food is Italian, but the beer is a parade of flavors from local breweries that change weekly. If you want to relax in an outdoor Italian garden, enjoy a community feeling, and try a different local beer flavor every time you fill your glass, Piazza is the place to go.

Related:  Best Bars To Get Local Beer In Baltimore

Ocean Odyssey Seafood Restaurant 
316 Sunburst Hwy.
Cambridge, MD 21613
(410) 228-8633

If you’re looking for a beer garden which places heavy focus on the restaurant portion, Ocean Odyssey is the place to go. Located in Cambridge, across the Bay from Baltimore, Ocean Odyssey is a well-liked seafood restaurant in a city full of seafood restaurants, so that’s saying something. The beer garden portion of the restaurant is seasonal, which only makes sense for something held outdoors. It makes even more sense when you understand that this is a crab and beer garden. The idea being that you’re shelling steamed crabs and drinking beer in a decorative outdoor area. See how it all comes together? Of course, you’re not restricted to steamed crabs. You can really order any kind of seafood you like at the convenient window adjoining the garden. Definitely a place a Baltimorean might want to head during the summer months.

Bo Brooks Restaurant
2780 Lighthouse Pt. E.
Baltimore, MD 21224
(410) 558-0202

A crab house right on the marina, Bo Brooks’ Beer Garden sits on a deck where patrons may crack their steamed crabs, throw back their brews, and watch the boats come in and out of the dock. For lovers of all things nautical, it couldn’t be a better fit. The beer garden is an expansive deck on the water covered with a canopy. You can sit under the canopy or relax out in the sunshine near the railing, but the crab pots and ice buckets full of beer are never far out of reach. Come hang out for a lazy summer afternoon and get the true Baltimore experience.

Related: Best Bars With Rotating Beer Menu In Baltimore

Joel Furches is a freelance writer and researcher for The Examiner and Logos Software, and also manages his own catalog of writing on Hub Pages. Joel is on the board of directors for Ratio Christi. He has a bachelors in Psychology and a Masters in Education.