Forty five minutes outside the city of Chicago, you can now find a beer garden reminiscent of Munich beer gardens in Germany. Das Bier Garden (also simply known as the Hoffman Estates Beer Garden) is located on the Village Green in the Prairie Stone Business Park of Hoffman Estates. Minutes from I-90 and across from the Sears Centre, this beer garden provides patrons a place to gather amidst a natural setting of prairie flowers and grasses. According to their website, the owners of Das Bier Garden simply wanted to bring back the old beer gardens where family and friends could gather outside with good beer. Because many people in the city and surrounding suburbs have a German heritage, the owners decided to bring back the beer garden, a prominent cultural norm, that disappeared after Prohibition.
The Hoffman Estates Beer Garden is a very family and pet friendly environment. We even saw one of the owners bring over water to accommodate guests with dogs. Children were seen running and playing, and are welcome inside the garden. Nearby is an outdoor amphitheater and the area is surrounded by walking paths.
Das Bier Garden proudly serves Hofbräu beer, which is brewed and imported from Munich Hofbräuhaus. They serve Hofbräu Original Lager, their Dunkel Lager, a Hefe Weizen wheat beer, and a few seasonal selections. In addition to beer, three white wines, one red wine, hard cider, and soft drinks were available. All glassware requires a $5 deposit, which is returned to you when your glass and token is returned. Despite being great beer mugs with some serious weight, their glassware is not available for purchase. They will, however, fill up a stein if you bring your own from home.
I’m not really much of a beer drinker, but I actually enjoyed both the Hofbräu Original Lager and their Oktoberfest beer. They’re a very clean, light tasting beer that’s not dominated by a hoppy taste. I also tried their pinot noir from Bulgaria. I thought the wine tasted okay, but I was a little put off that it was stored in the refrigerator with the white wines. It was served far too cold.
There is a limited number of food items available at the Bier Garden, including authentic Bavarian pretzels with mustard or cheese dipping sauces and Usinger’s sausages (bratwurst, hot dogs, or cold sausage). Guests are allowed to bring in their own food and non-alcoholic drinks to the garden. However, grills are not allowed.
Their Bavarian pretzels are made in Munich, flash-frozen, and shipped overseas. They are baked in the oven of the beer garden and served warm. They were incredibly delicious. So much so, I couldn’t get a photo of the whole thing before my kids started tearing into it! The pretzels cost $7 ($2 more for cheese or mustard), but they are big enough to share.
All purchases at the Hoffman Estates Beer Garden are CASH only and there is an ATM machine on site. There are also indoor restrooms at the back of the building.
The seating area is filled with picnic tables and some have umbrellas for shade. Lights are strewn up and across the seating area for nighttime lighting, and German banners waved in the breeze. While we were there, traditional German music played through outside speakers. As there are only picnic tables, patrons are encouraged to share seating and get to know others; saving unoccupied tables for others is not allowed. However, you may reserve a table and/or plan a catered party through the beer garden. Check their website for more details.
Overall, we had a great time while at the Hoffman Estates Beer Garden. We had beautiful weather, great beer, great pretzels, and a different experience from the usual. I can imagine many employees of the surrounding business park meeting here during lunch or after work for drinks. The amount of time Chicagoans get to be outdoors in nice weather is short. So it makes sense to be in it for as long as possible. Our experience here was positive, especially with our interactions with the owner and staff. All were kind, helpful, and courteous.
If you’re ever in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, I recommend a visit to the Hoffman Estates Beer Garden. Before we know it, it’ll be cold and the beer garden will close for winter. Make the most of the season with beautiful scenery, good people, and great beer!