Day in and day out, Brisbane’s worker bees get up, dress up and show up to their jobs and work their guts out before going home, only to begin again the next day. We get it. But here’s our advice: sometimes it’s a good idea to loosen that constricting tie, kick off those heels and take that Visa out for a spin. Guess what? You might actually enjoy yourself. All work and no play makes a very dull Andy.
And, as Thursdays are the new Fridays, it's the perfect day to bunk off work early, round up your pals or workmates and head to one of Brisbane’s best bars for an after work drink (or two).
Stone & Wood
Yes, there's plenty of craft breweries dotted around the city fringe, but none have even close to Stone & Wood's epic line up of brews, nor are they quite so handy to the train station when it's time to drag yourself home. As well as Stone & Wood's core range, seasonal specials and random tap additions, you'll also find their Little Dragon Ginger Beer on tap and a handful of snacks to order if you get peckish.
Brisbane City And Fortitude Valley
If your tastes run more towards boutique wines than hoppy brews, City Winery is for you—and these days they've got venues both in the city and the Valley, so you're covered no matter which side of town you work on. You can work your way through their wine list over a cheeseboard at either location, though the CBD venue is the only one with river views to go with them.
X Cargo might be a pumping night spot after dark, but late afternoon, when the sun is still about, the outdoor shipping container bar makes for a vibing afterwork drinks spot. Grab a picnic table for your crew and enjoy a cocktail jug or three in the sunshine—at least you know if one drink turns into 10, you can just stay all night.
Tucked away down Fish Lane in South Brisbane, Kiki is little sister to Southside, and the perfect spot for a post-5pm tipple amongst the greenery. Part cafe, part bar, part actual jungle, the lush plantlife adorning every corner makes for a chilled outdoor venue that will have you feeling less stressed just taking a seat. Or is that just knowing that there's a cocktail on its way to you? Either way, winding down never looking better.
A favourite James Street watering hole, Gerard’s Bar is the perfect place for an after-work tipple. Both a bar and charcuterie house, the little sister to iconic Brisbane bistro, Gerard’s, this little gem offers excellent drinking with bevvies designed to complement the artisan meats and salami that are made-in-house.
Here’s where you’ll find live music every night of the week and a cocktail list more enticing than whatever was on slide 327 of that presentation you had to sit through today. If you only have time for one drink, make it a pot of Brooklyn Standard’s house brew, Brooklyn Lager: statistically proven virility with every sip.
Drinks, DJs and all-American snacks, whatever you fancy this little laneway haunt does it and does it well. The window seating on the second level of Super Whatnot is the perfect place to roost and people watch—also a fantastic place to let off some of that steam you’ve pent up because the intern in accounting lost another invoice.
Attention beer drinkers: your very favourite wing slingers also happen to be fantastic hosts for post-work drinks. Nestle in at Buffalo Bar with a pot or bottle of their US suds and maybe even scoff a few plates of hot wings or a giant hotdog to really loosen that corporate noose.
For those whose office chat tends to get a bit rowdy when you throw some beers into the mix, the Defiant Duck should be your go to. With wings, burgers and hotdogs or just a few free rounds of fries thanks to your Urban Feast card scoring you $25 worth of freebies, they’ve got plenty of room, sports on the big screens and bingo nights every Thursday for when you just need to beat Sally from sales at something (anything will do).
An intimate bar hidden away on the east side of town, Canvas is the perfect spot to get into some serious gossip with your closest co-workers over a few plates of tapas without fear of being overheard. Use the promise of an extra round to really loosen those tongues and find out just who slept with who at last year’s Christmas party.
John Mills Himself
Bootlegging, easyspeaking, investment banking lushes in the know are granted that all important seclusion when they nestle in for after-work drinks at John Mills Himself. When things get out of hand you can always pass out in the laneway and have them wake you up in the morning with fourteen shots of espresso.
With leatherbound sofas and the warm, orange glow of lamplight, The Gresham has created that ever-evasive ambience usually reserved for private clubs and cigar salons, making this Brisbane bar more like a licensed library without books.
A mainstay of after-work drinks, The Bavarian positively heaves in the twilight with stein-toting suits. Meander down when the sun hits the water and raise a tankard to tomorrow’s hangover, in between multiple towers of their salty, buttery fresh pretzels.
Riverbar + Kitchen
With glorious views of the river, a stocked bar and snacks aplenty, Riverbar + Kitchen is a yuppie mecca of beige chinos and blue shirts for after-work drinks. Their shared cocktail jugs are good enough that you may not want to share, but really, the breezy riverside vibe is the real drawcard here.
Death & Taxes
Death & Taxes is a moody, old-world boozer from the crew that brought us Cobbler and Savile Row, so you know you’re in for a good time once you step through the massive red doors. A four-metre-tall back bar is filled to the rafters with top-notch spirits, so if the dim lighting and leather stools don’t shake you out of your office blues, the uber creative cocktail list sure will.
Just want to spend your after work hours drinking bulk wine? Find Brisbane's best wine bars here.
Image credit: Urban List archives