One of the best things about living in central Europe is being able to enjoy a nice, cold beer in a real beer garden. Of course, I'm pretty sure the concept originated in Germany, but Austrian breweries do a pretty good job of keeping up with their neighbors. Probably our favorite local beer garden is at the Sternbräu in the town of Rankweil, just 15 minutes from our house. They serve their own beer as well as a wide range of international beers. I always order a "kleines Dunkles" (a small dark beer). Yesterday, after our weekend visitors from Munich left, my guy and I took advantage of the fall-like weather and spent a relaxing hour chatting over a Sternbräu beer (or two) and nibbling on a freshly baked soft pretzel. There's really no better way to wind down the weekend.