Masons at lunch by Oscar Wergeland, 1883
Beer gardens, or beirgartens in German, began in 19th century Bavaria. Lager requires long periods of cool or cold storage. In order to accomplish this, German breweries would dig beer lagering cellars deep underground where the temperature was cool and stable, even in the summer months. To keep the cellar cooler in the summer, the brewery would plant trees to shade the ground. Eventually they added picnic benches and the beirgarten was what followed: a place where Germans could enjoy a beer fresh from the cellar in the fresh air.
Engraved by Wilhelm Krauskopf
Image source: Circulating Collection -- Beer Gardens, the Print and Picture Collection, Free Library of Philadelphia