Besides beer, engineering and the occasional world war, Germans are known for their idiomatic words – you know, the one’s that sum up abstract but useful concepts like schadenfreude (pleasure in others’ misfortune) and weltschmerz (world weariness).

Then there’s biergarten, which has a much more positive connotation, and thanks to what linguists call a calque or loan translation, has spilled over into our language as…  Wait for it… “Beer garden.”

And guess which local juggernaut brewery is getting into the beer garden business? Yes, it’s who you think but not where you think.

Starting May 24, Lagunitas Brewing Company will open a 13-week-long community beer garden at Ghirardelli Square, the iconic historic San Francisco landmark-turned-urban-destination-du-jour. But why there and not Petaluma, where the de facto homebrew has surely watered many garden (at least after some, um, personal processing)? Charity – people. 50 percent of proceeds from the beer garden will benefit an array of local charitable organizations. Joining the Petaluma Brewery in this effort is hint water, the fruit infused water brand that refuses to use capital letters.

“We’re thrilled with the opportunity to extend our ability to help additional non-profits away from our home breweries,” said Karen Hamilton, director of communications for Lagunitas Brewing Company. “With a number of charitable organizations benefiting from the community beer garden activation, many different causes will be helped and we’re very excited about this prospect.”

Among the nonprofits benefitting at different intervals during the beer garden’s six-and-a-half fortnight existence are SOMA Arts, which promotes arts access within the Bay Area by collaborating with community-focused artists and organizations.  The San Francisco Parks Alliance, a nonprofit whose mission is to inspire and promote civic engagement and philanthropy to protect, sustain, and enrich San Francisco parks, recreation, and green open spaces will also be a recipient.

The outdoor space will feature Lagunitas beers on tap for $7, including IPA, Pils, A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ and Lucky 13, in addition to complimentary pretzels, peanuts and hint water.  Local live music comes complimentary and entry into to the beer garden is free. Bring a picnic!

Located outdoors in Ghirardelli Square’s West Plaza, the community beer garden will open to the public this Memorial Day weekend, on Thursday, May 26 through Monday, May 30 from noon to 7 p.m.  Then beginning on Thursday, June 2, the beer garden will operate for the next twelve weeks from Thursday through Sunday, beginning at noon and closing at 7 p.m. After Labor Day Weekend it’s – as they say – kaput.

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