The round-up: Brisbane’s best sunny beer gardens and outdoor bars to visit this summer
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.
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.
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.
X-CARGO, Fortitude Valley: One of the biggest arrivals in Brisbane’s beer garden scene is a veritable playground for adults. X-CARGO is a multi-tiered playground with plenty of space to boogie. From the open-plan beer garden at the bottom to the elevated bar at the top, there’s plenty of opportunities to catch some sunshine while sinking a beverage or two.
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.
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.
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!
Pig & Whistle, Fortitude Valley: Fortitude Valley’s Pig & Whistle is a popular hub for nighttime revelry, but come earlier in the day and you’ll be able to soak up some rays in one of two beer gardens. Ornate fairy lights, shade sail lines and plenty of greenery offers a relaxed atmosphere in which to enjoy craft beer, wine or a cocktail or two. Also of note, Pig & Whistle on Brunswick Street is a lively spot for a great Sunday session.
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, charcuterie boards and some comfy, kitschy furniture to park your caboose – Fitz & Potts ticks all the boxes.
Revel Brewing Co, Bulimba: The brewery boom is great for beer lovers, but any fan of casual beer garden vibes can also reap the rewards of this boozy influx. Revel Brewing Co in Bulimba has packed an outdoor area with communal tables, offering a leafy position to enjoy a pot and a pizza with your crew.
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.
Eleven Rooftop Bar, Fortitude Valley: With 270-degree views of Brisbane, Eleven Rooftop Bar probably boasts the best Sunday session view in town. Located high above the busy streets of Fortitude Valley, Eleven’s lounge vibe is reminiscent of getaways to Indonesia and Bali. Order a drink at one of two bars, nibble on grazing plates and while away the balmy afternoon.
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.
Isles Lane, Brisbane City: Enjoy people watching? Well, Isles Lane in the heart of The City offers a chic European-inspired outdoor space to relax and let the world walk by. A collection of park-facing tables outside the bar are reminiscent of bustling Parisian promenades, and is a brilliant spot to spend some time in the company of some nibbles and tipples.
Munich Brauhaus, South Bank: This gargantuan Bavarian beer hall has ample space to clank steins inside, but a spacious wrap-around beer garden also acts as a sunny spot to sip and snack.
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.
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 Furphy both indoor and out, we suggest pulling up a chair overlooking the river during golden hour.
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