Guinguettes & Biergarten

guinguettes and biergartens are friendly, festive places where people gather to drink, eat and have fun. Although they come from different backgrounds, what they have in common is the idea of enjoying the outdoors while sharing good times with friends and family.

Guinguettes en fête

Guinguettes are entertainment venues in France, sometimes located along rivers or streams. They were very popular from the 19th to the early 20th century, offering city dwellers a country getaway in picturesque, pleasant surroundings. The guinguettes featured music, dancing, food, drink and games.
They were renowned for their cheerful atmosphere and festive ambience.
Modern guinguettes continue this tradition, with live music, outdoor areas for relaxing and often typical French dishes.

Nostalgia for the bal musette

It’s in the guinguette that you find musette! Initially associated with the Parisian working class of the early 20th century, musette music and associated dances were commonplace in guinguettes all over France, and much appreciated by the working classes.
As our ancestors remember, bals musette were occasions to meet and dance, where people could relax, have fun and share convivial moments.
Although the golden age of these balls is over, their cultural heritage lives on today, as they are mixed and modernized.

At JAZZ’N BRUCHE, on July 6, 2023, starting at 6pm, Ecuadorian singer Maria Tejada, accompanied by Donald Régnier on guitar and Stéphane Escoms on accordion, will present an encounter between Ecuadorian music and traditional French chanson, influenced by waltz and musette.

The Guinguettes Alsaciennes are one of the summer’s must-see events, delighting both tourists who can discover Alsatian folklore and locals who can enjoy the festive atmosphere.
The Val d’Argent Tourist Office invites you to discover and rediscover the traditional Guinguettes Alsaciennes, to be held on Thursday evenings from July 20 to August 24, 2023, starting at 7pm for food and 7:30pm for live music.
– July 20: Hôtel Les Bagenelles, Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines
– July 27: Parc Jules Simon with the Vélo-club, Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines
– August 3: Parc de la Villa Burrus (with Colibri), Sainte-Croix-aux-Mines
– August 10: Camping Les Reflets du Val d’Argent, Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines
– August 17: Ferme d’Argentin, Lièpvre
– August 24: Salle des fêtes, Rombach-le-Franc.

A guinguette spirit for a convivial atmosphere

As in Jean Becker’s Les Enfants du Marais (1999), guinguette scenes are an integral part of our heritage, highlighting a festive, communal atmosphere.
The guinguette is a timeless trend that can be recreated at home using specific lighting fixtures such as lighted guir- landes, lanterns, lanterns and candles.

Festive lights and retro charm

With the arrival of fine weather, the guinguette inspires a festive, convivial atmosphere, with specific lighting fixtures to create the perfect ambience. These are often garlands of lights, reminiscent of the lighting of yesteryear, and are hung above the table or in the trees. We love the charm of their globe-shaped bulbs and their rainbow hues.
Pavillon Puebla, Paris, ph : Studio Cuicui
©La Case de Cousin Paul

The history of the Biergarten

On the other side of the Rhine, open-air beer gardens have traditionally developed. These have become veritable institutions in Germany, and are strongly associated with beer culture.
Indeed, in the 19th century, a decree from Louis 1st imposed the production of beer during the winter months to prevent summer fires in wooden houses. Brewers then need to stock up for the summer. They built shallow cellars along the Isar, a tributary of the Danube, to keep them cool. They covered the roofs with gravel and planted chestnut trees to protect the cellars from the sun.
Enjoying a pleasant, unspoilt setting, the cellars were soon transformed into open-air sales and dining areas. Historically, a decree prohibited the sale of food in beer gardens, as restaurant owners had complained about the competition. However, customers have always been allowed to bring their own food, and legislation has now evolved to give Biergartens the right to serve food. The menu features traditional dishes such as sausage, pretzels, Obazda and Leberkäse.

A deep-rooted tradition

Munich currently boasts around 100 beer gardens, of which the Hirschgarten is the largest with 8,000 seats, followed by the Augustiner-Keller (5,000 seats) and the Paulaneram-Nockherberg (4,000 seats). In these typical Munich beer gardens, visitors bring charcuterie, cheese, gherkins and black bread, which they enjoy with a good beer.

Alsatian beers and open-air relaxation

Biergartens are particularly popular during the summer months, when people gather to enjoy the sun, nature and lively atmosphere.
In Alsace, the tradition isn’t as widespread, but there are a few establishments that take their inspiration from the concept, offering a relaxed, friendly atmosphere where you can enjoy locally brewed beer in the open air.
In the charming village of Riquewihr, near Colmar, you’ll find the Brasserie du Vignoble (La Bra’V), which offers a peaceful setting on the edge of the vineyard for tasting their craft beers.
On the Muttersholtz side, the Brasseurs du Ried open their Biergarten in the heart of the brewery during the summer season.
And further north, Brasserie Michel Debus in Schiltigheim offers an urban Biergarten ideal for lively afterwork parties.
(Alcohol is dangerous to your health. Consume in moderation)

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