The round-up: Brisbane’s best beer gardens and outdoor bars to visit before summer ends
It’s almost a scientific fact that the best way to enjoy the sizzling summer months is to embrace it and find a comfortable perch to blow the froth off a cold beverage or two in one of Brisbane’s many beer gardens. Our winter hibernation has ended – now it’s the time to get our dishevelled selves some sun. Here are some of the best beer gardens and outdoor bars to seek out this summer.
Valley Hops Brewing, Fortitude Valley: With views of taking in The City, Fortitude Valley and beyond, it’s hard to name many Brisbane breweries that boast as good a vantage point at Valley Hops. Perched atop Cloudland, this craft-beer brewery is a stunning spot for a sudsy sip, the 300-seater venue boasts plenty of room for cheersing and for devouring woodfired pizzas.
Revel Rivermakers Restaurant, Morningside: Much like its Bulimba sibling, this brewery and restaurant (nestled in the heart of the heritage-listed Rivermakers precinct) boasts a killer festoon-lit beer garden that is the ideal spot for sampling some of Revel’s acclaimed beers alongside snacks like cauliflower wings, frickles (fried pickles), dry-rubbed chicken wings.
Manly Boathouse, Manly: Sipping a spritz by the water as the sun starts to set – can you imagine a better way to spend an evening? Manly Boathouse offers near-panoramic views of the harbour as well as an assortment of spots to soak up the atmosphere. If you want some breeze on your face, Manly Boathouse’s bar and outdoor patio area is the place to be. Come early for some fish and chips or saunter in for a sunset cocktail – either way you’ll be in the right place.
Slipstream Brewing C0., Yeerongpilly: When Slipstream Brewing Co. expanded its Yeerongpilly headquarters, it didn’t just improve its brewing capacity, add a 20-tap bar and construct a kitchen, it also took the opportunity to add a new street-side beer garden to its premises. Sprawl out with some barramundi tacos, popcorn cauliflower and a pint of Yerongpils Pilsner and enjoy the serenity.
Kiki, South Brisbane: This outdoor bar is so much more than a holding area for diners waiting for a table at sibling venue Southside. Kiki is a great spot to visit on its own, with a cocktail list boasting punchy margaritas and new-wave wine, and a lush, tropical-inspired layout that will have to thinking you’ve been transported to another part of the world.
Felons Brewing Co., Brisbane City: The craft-beer lovers riverside locale, Felons Brewing Co. at Howard Smith Wharves serves up craft brews to match Brisbane’s balmy climate. With plenty of spots to enjoy a beer both indoor and out, we suggest pulling up a chair overlooking the river during golden hour.
Joey’s, Kangaroo Point: Love a view? You’ll love the one at Joey’s. Sitting atop the Kangaroo Point cliffs, this cafe and bar celebrates the sun-dappled Queenslander vibes that we love during the summer. Peer across the Brisbane River at the city skyline with a colourful cocktail and a spread featuring kingfish tacos, tuna tostadas, prawn sandwiches.
Wandering Cooks, West End: This haven for nourishing nosh moonlights as a handy local watering hole for thirsty locals. Wandering Cooks offers plenty of room inside, but its street-facing beer garden (shielded by grape vines) is a casual and cool spot to sip on some local craft beer and Australian wine while munching on fare made from locally sourced produce.
Riverbar & Kitchen, Brisbane City: Relax by the river with a delicious cocktail and soak in some impressive views of the Story Bridge and Kangaroo Point at Eagle Street’s Riverbar & Kitchen. While you are there, why not order a few snack plates to share? We hear good things about the RBK board, which boasts duck liver pate, tapenade, smoked cod, pickled cucumber and radish.
Riverland, Brisbane City: Eagle Street’s riverside precinct has plenty of choices for drinks with a view, but few are imbued with the same kind of fun and casual atmosphere as Riverland. Roughly 52 metres of bench seating offers a stellar view of the winding river, Kangaroo Point and the Story Bridge, while 40 taps pour a huge range of beer and cider, with a great selection of local and international brews complemented by cocktails and wines – perfect summer sipping material.
BrewDog, Murrarie: The gigantic Murrarie brewery and taphouse of Scottish craft-beer juggernaut BrewDog is the perfect spot to wrangle your crew for some cold ones. While the beer hall itself features plenty of room for clinking pints, the outside patio boasts river views, ample seating and even a few games for the competitive types.
Brewhouse, Woolloongabba: The revamped Brewhouse in Woollooongabba has plenty of corners to settle in on a sunny weekend, but the beer garden has been upgraded with a new roof, pool table and sliding gates for extra breeze. Brewhouse complements the killer atmosphere with a seriously impressive food and drink selection to keep you fed and watered all day and night.
The Normanby Hotel, Red Hill: After some considerable renovations, The Normany Hotel has once again cemented itself as a great spot for casual pub-style revelry. The venue’s bottom floor now boasts an overhauled beer-garden space with one of the largest screens in town, with a sun-dappled cocktail deck perfect for catching breezy summer vibes.
Remy’s, Paddington: This Paddington joint is a cosy spot to meet up with some friends for a cheeky Sunday afternoon tipple. We recommend ordering one of the quality cheeseburgers with a jug of sangria to share. On second thought, make that two jugs on sangria!
The Triffid, Newstead: Although known as a great spot to catch some big name musicians on a weekend, The Triffid’s beer garden is worth visiting even if you aren’t there to see a show. The canteen offers some delicious fare, while the bar has the drinks situation sorted. The Triffid’s beer garden recently received some extensions, such as a new deck that offers a prime people-watching vantage point.
Fitz & Potts, Nundah: Nundah locals rave about the atmosphere at Fitz & Potts, which allows patrons to relax above the hubbub of the street below on its expansive, wrap-around deck. Craft beers, jaffles, a smorgasbord of vegan-friendly snacks and some comfy, kitschy furniture to park your caboose – Fitz & Potts ticks all the boxes.
Southbeach, South Bank: Southbeach scored a makeover in time for summer 2021/2022, leaning into its holiday beach shack vibes (and its sunny location next to Streets Beach) with a colourful revamp. Umbrellas keep the beach-facing patio tables shaded from the sun’s rays, but there are plenty of positions to get some vitamin D alongside some coconut-lime margaritas, white peach daiquiris, sangria jugs and serves of chermoula buttered prawns.
Canvas, Woolloongabba: Woolloongabba’s Canvas is so much more than a cocktail haunt, now boasting a renovated courtyard with a private bar, murals from Frank & Mimi and an automatic retractable roof. Locals can now enjoy a boozy brunch in the comfy surrounds, lingering over some share plates, mimosas and Bloody Mary’s until the late afternoon.
Shady Palms, Stones Corner: Stones Corner is home to Shady Palms, the perfect name for a bar that offers excellent summery vibes. Grab a drink and order a some choice morsels off the menu, then head to the beer garden at the back and spend an afternoon snacking and sipping to your heart’s content.
At Sixes and Sevens, Fortitude Valley: On a Friday night, you can expect this James Street locale to be bursting at the seams with post-work revelry, but throughout the daytime hours on the weekend At Sixes and Sevens is a tranquil and welcoming respite for shoppers and locals to kick back with a drink and a nibble.
The Catchment Brewing Co., West End: West End’s Catchment Brewing Co. boasts a beer garden at the venue’s rear that gives patrons the ability to sit amongst street art and various brewing apparatus. Enjoy one of Catchment’s own brews while the next batch is being made right beside you – it’s almost serendipitous.
Kettle & Tin, Paddington: On any weekend afternoon Paddington’s Kettle & Tin goes from hip brunch hangout into a chic cocktail bar in the blink of an eye. Eggs benedict and waffles are replaced with sriracha hot wings and duck nachitos, while coffee and juice is supplanted by craft beer, cider and rosé. Enjoy the leisurely vibe and watch the traffic pass along Given Terrace and pretend the new work week isn’t around the corner.
Little Big House, South Bank: If you like the sound of a split-level bar that’s operates more like a colourful house party than inner-city watering hole, then Little Big House is the spot for you. Take up prime position under the umbrellas and palm trees in the beer garden overlooking Grey Street or head upstairs to get a better vantage point from the second-floor verandah. The only tricky choice you have is what drink you’re going to enjoy your view with.
The Wickham, Fortitude Valley: The Wickham underwent a serious transformation a few years back, resulting in the creation of one of the Valley’s best beer gardens. The Garden Bar courtyard now boasts plenty of shady spots to enjoy a drink with friends, container lounges to relax in, working gardens and even a large Jenga set to play with. As if this wasn’t appealing enough, The Wickham’s kitchen also pumps out some scrumptious fare made from locally sourced ingredients.
Ballistic Beer Co., Salisbury: There’s something so wholesome about the notion of sitting on your front lawn in a deck chair and knocking back a few frothies, which is the sort of vibe that goes down at Ballistic Beer Co. This Salisbury brewery has a huge grassy patch out peppered with tables and chairs for you to soak up the sun, which goes very well with the exceptional range of craft brews and regular food truck visitors.
Fick Brewing Company, Northgate: Lucky craft-beer lovers of Brisbane’s northern suburbs have scored another local brewery in the form of Fick Brewing Company. Drinkers can sip on Fick’s own Belgian-style red IPA or a golden ale in the shaded outdoor space (with red gravel designed to evoke a rustic European beer-garden vibe) and nibble on some European-style street food too.
The Osbourne Hotel, Fortitude Valley: The Osbourne Hotel is pretty much the personification of that Old El Paso ad with the little girl who says ‘why can’t we have both?’ Whether you’re chasing a beer garden vibe or some lounge-bar action, this destination pub has got you covered. The outdoor areas offer ample seating to spread out on while you sample the impressive menu and make your way through the 94 beer taps.
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