Pils, Lager, Bock, Weizen, Dunkel, Helles… potato salad, bratwurst, pretzels, schnitzel: we all know beer gardens are the real “gardens of earthly delights”. And, as the season draws to a close, we thought it only fitting to pay homage to the deliciously simple formula of beer + garden, for this week’s #MashupMonday.

To quote from an article in The Atlantic explaining how German beer gardens came to be – “great innovations are borne of extreme limitations”. In this case, the innovation-inspiring setback was a 1553 Bavarian regulation that confined beer brewing to the winter months. Breweries started planting large-leaved chestnut trees on their grounds to keep their stocked cellars cool in summer. It didn’t take long for tables to be positioned in the verdant shade and crowds to start gathering to enjoy the bountiful brew in scenic surroundings.

These days in Berlin, beer gardens range from hipster havens serving craft beer to booming riverfront beach bars to the more traditional, gravel-strewn yards welcoming people from all walks of life – even children(!) thanks to handy playgrounds. And don’t be fooled by the empty chairs and benches in some of these pics – beer gardens have been more popular than ever this season with the advantages of al fresco imbibing in times of social distancing as clear as Kristall beer. True Berliners also know there’s nothing better than a half-empty beer garden at midday to get your creative juices flowing: goodbye #WFH, we say – “Prost, #WFBG!”

And “Prost!” to all you distant Berliners out there – wishing you a refreshing start in a new week, a new month and a new season!






As harvest season rolls around, the time is ripe to celebrate the fruits – and veggies! – of many months of collective and individual labor across Berlin, while drinking in the last golden rays of summer sun.

This week’s #mashup is “soil-idarity” – both coming together to tend the earth (and kick-back!) in community gardens, such as those pictured here, and being stronger together, rooted in our shared experience on our planet Earth.

The word “human” actually comes from the Latin word “humus” for earth or ground. In English, humus is the organic component of soil, formed by the decomposition of leaves and other plant and animal material – it’s the good shit, literally! . In recent years, community gardens have sprouted up around Berlin in an inspiring counterpoint to individual allotments, where each fenced-in territory often sports its own private flagpole and satellite dish and each gardener faces their battle against the elements and insect invasions more or less alone.

And it’s not just people who thrive better when not completely isolated (as these photos abundantly illustrate). The tenets of permaculture, which most of this new generation of garden plotters embrace, teach the advantages of interdependence – using companion plants and even beneficial weeds to create resilient, self-sustaining ecosystems, with one of the key tenets being ‘value diversity’. Dig it?!



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