The New York Times in the mid-1850s sniffed that lager was "getting a good deal too fashionable." And soon the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce noticed a growth in beer drinking due "in no little degree to the taste which has been acquired for `lager' as a beverage, not only among the native German population, but all classes."
A new cultural institution arose to feed the new frenzy: the beer garden. Distant but recognizable ancestors to the amusement park, the gardens, which could be either open to the air or enclosed "winter" gardens, welcomed families on Sunday outings and featured live music. They had tables and chairs instead of bars, and they were known for their food.
The history of beer in America. A great read. I didn't know that lager beers were invented in 1842!