Oktober Fun? Visit the Oldest Running Biergarten in the U.S.

by Britni Rachal on October 9, 2020 in Food+Drink, Austin,
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Spacious outdoor seating, gorgeous fall weather, and traditional German live music! Old World Wednesdays at Austin’s Scholz Garten are a win/win if you’re looking for a fun (and safe) evening.

In addition to the live music, which currently runs from 6-8 every Wednesday at Scholz, a Chef’s Special German board is sure to delight your palette. Boasting a delicious variety of snacks, the Texas-shaped charcuterie board is a must-order for Wednesdays. Though each week has a different selection, the night we visited was especially nice! Probably the standout on the board was Scholz Garten’s haus-made brisket-bacon-black pepper sausage. With the perfect hint of bacon, this sausage was really good.

The Texas-shaped charcuterie board is a highlight of Old World Wednesdays at Austin’s Scholz Garten. Courtesy photo

Other favorites on the board – the honey wheat bread, pickled garden beets and bell peppers, tomato aioli, berry pear jam, and crunchy apple cider sea salt cashews. All partnered with French brie, aged gouda, goat cheddar, hard salami, copa, moondrop grapes and dried dates and apricots.

A perfect snack for two, you can easily have a nice evening munching on snacks, while trying out unique beers. I tried the Warsteiner Oktoberfest beer. Unlike most Oktoberfest beers, the Warsteiner is more lager-like, lighter and crispier. In addition to this beer, Scholz has dozens of other local drafts on tap.

Be sure to try the giant pretzel at Scholz Garten– there’s enough for you and friends! Courtesy photo

If you are in the mood for more than just a snack, Scholz Garten’s German food is definitely worth trying. There’s something for everyone on the menu, and one of their most popular menu items is the giant Bavarian pretzel. Served with bier cheese, garlic butter, and Dusseldorf mustard, this Texas-sized pretzel is large enough to serve up to four.

Of course, for a true German dining experience, you could always try one of Scholz Garten’s signature German dishes. I opted for the Jagerschnitzel, a thin-sliced pork loin, panko-breaded and fried and served with mushroom gravy, along with Rotkohl (red cabbage) and Spätzle (mini dumplings).

The oldest running biergarten in the U.S., Scholz Garten offers great German food and beer. Courtesy photo

Even though there’s great food and an oompah of an atmosphere, the thing that makes the Scholz experience the most unique is the eatery’s history. The oldest running biergarten in the U.S., Scholz Garten has been around since 1866. Back then, a German immigrant and Civil War veteran August Scholz opened the public bar and café in an old boardinghouse.

The property, purchased for $2,400, soon became a favorite meeting place for the German population in and around Austin. The restaurant has taken different shapes and forms over the years – for example, in 1908 a bowling alley existed near the biergarten, which proved very popular among patrons.

Terry Cavanagh’s Alpine Express plays every Wednesday at Scholz Garten starting at 6pm during Old World Wednesday. Courtesy photo

Another fun fact? Scholz Garten hosted a celebration for the University of Texas football team’s first undefeated season in 1893.

Hopefully you’ll be able to make it out to Scholz Garten sometime this fall. If you visit on Wednesdays, you’ll likely get to hear Terry Cavanagh’s Alpine Express perform live.

Scholz Garten also offers takeout orders and curbside pickup. A full menu is available online.

Scholz Garten: 1607 San Jacinto, Austin, TX 78701

Cover: Reuben Sammy. Photo courtesy Scholz Garten

Britni Rachal lives in Austin, Texas. She is a freelance journalist and a full-time marketer. In addition to writing, Rachal enjoys traveling, event planning, fashion, fitness and serving the Austin community.