The history of the Beer Garden, so I’m told, is that brewers were only allowed to brew in winter (in the early 19th century). In order to keep their beer cool for sale in summer, they stored it in cellars along the river Isar under the shade of the trees. These areas soon became popular drinking spots, and a law was enacted in 1812 to allow/encourage the sale of food, thus bringing to life the beer garden.
Whilst there are self service beer/food kiosks at the beer gardens, you can actually bring your own food/drink and have a wee picnic at the tables.
At the Chinesischer Turm, named after the Chinese Tower in the middle (which is actually modelled on the “Great Pagoda” in the Royal Botanic Gardens in London), we were delighted by an Omm-pah band as well as a lovely leafy green area full of tables and chairs, and a little self service kiosk full of Hofbrau beer and bretzels, among other famed (clichéd?) German delicacies.