Spirits

Scholz Garten Is the Oldest Bar in Texas and Oldest Biergarten in U.S.

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The website Supercall recently listed the oldest bar in every state. Turns out that Texas’ oldest bar happens to be in the Texas Hill Country–namely, in Austin. Scholz Garten in Austin is not only Texas’ oldest bar, but it’s also the oldest operating biergarten in the whole country!

Scholz Biergarten Since 1866

Scholz Garten

Photo: Flickr/Counse

Established by German immigrant August Scholz in 1866 after the American Civil War, Scholz Garten became a hub for German immigrants and their culture in Texas’ capital city. It was purchased by The Saengerrunde Club in 1914, who still owns it today. It remains a popular gathering spot for both political discussion and University of Texas sports events.

Scholz Garten was recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark in 1967, and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.  According to a post on the Scholz Garten Facebook page, the Travel Channel’s show Food Paradise was recently in the restaurant filming for an upcoming episode.

History of the German Biergarten

Biergarten

Photo: Facebook/scholzgarten1866

Biergartens were first started at breweries in Germany during the 19th century, in an effort to keep the beer cellar temperature cool during the warm seasons. Brewers covered the river banks with gravel and planted chestnut trees for their dense spreading canopies. Soon after that, serving cool beer in a pleasant shaded setting emerged. Simple tables and benches were set up among the trees, creating the popular “beer garden” we know today.

And no biergarten worth its weight in hops is complete without a hefty dose of Gemütlichkeit, which is a German word that conveys a feeling of warmth, friendliness, and belonging. Reinforced by shared tables, it is often accompanied by music, song, and fellowship among strangers.

To see the complete list of the oldest bars in each state, check out the article on the Supercall website.