The story of Australia's colonisation by the British is a beat up. You heard it here first. Yes, they brought a few convicts over for show, but the real reason the Brits decided to move down here was because this sunny continent was deemed perfect for outdoor drinking sessions.
If you have ever been to the UK you will know that it is a cold, dank, musty smelling place. The pasty inhabitants of that bitter group of islands hardly ever go outside and, if they do, it is only to shuffle through the sleet and fog to some dismal, dark pub where they will sit eating kippers and drinking warm beer.
To cut a long story short, King George III decided in 1788 that British people needed a better place to drink, which resulted in Australia being colonised. The weather down here is lovely most of the year round, so the new colonists built pubs with gardens out the back where beer could be consumed in the bright sunshine. These were dubbed 'beer gardens' and have been very popular ever since.
As the city with the best climate in all the land, Brisbane is somewhat of a beer garden mecca.
Here is a collection of the best beer gardens in Brisbane town.
Lock 'n' Load | West End
These cats describe their open air back area as a courtyard, but since they serve beer there and it is a lush space with lots of greenery, we are going to relabel it a beer garden. It's so chilled and breezy and welcoming it's hard to think of a reason not to spend the whole weekend at Lock'n'load drinking ciders with friends.
The Wickham | Fortitude Valley
The newest beer garden in town belongs to the ever-lovable Wickham, and boy, is it a doozy. We're excited about spending many a Sunday session in the space that was previously the car park, but has now been converted into a cheerful Valley oasis, spotted with wooden benches and tables and an abundance of greenery. The menu — a very tasty international line up of shareable pub favourites —doesn't hurt either.
The Burrow | West End
Park bench tables outside in the laneway make this cosy establishment a great option if you are in West End and feel like grabbing some drinks and roosting in the sun for a couple of hours. The whole atmosphere at The Burrow is super relaxed, thanks in no small part to the congenial staff and hideaway feel of the whole bar/café. This is the Brisbane beer garden to visit for a proper catch up with your mates.
Rics Bar | Fortitude Valley
The award for 'beer garden that is most like a nightclub' goes to the space out the back of Rics in the Valley, which during the day is a cruisy enough outdoor drinking spot, but at night turns into a somewhat hectic, but very fun, party zone. Try not to fall off your stool.
Pig n Whistle | Fortitude Valley
Bruno Street's newie, The Pig n Whistle is a surprisingly classy addition to Brisbane's beer garden scene. A frothy or two in the sun in this palm-fringed outdoor drinking hole and you'll be shouting this Brisbane bar's praises as loud as the rest of us.
The Regatta | Toowoong
This Toowong icon successfully walks the line between being a bar for young student types and a bar for slightly more mature professional folk. Having amped up the elegance with its post-flood makeover, the Regatta's outdoor drinking zone is all about encouraging social interaction in a casual, comfortable and chic setting. Note: They have day beds.
The RE | Toowoong
It would be downright negligent not to include the Royal Exchange Hotel on any list of Brisbane's best beer gardens. The RE doesn't try too hard. It doesn't need to. Uni students will flock there, regardless, for their weekly (or bi-weekly, or tri-weekly) dose of beer jugs, hot chips with gravy and live band playing Pearl Jam's Better Man. If you haven't had at least one Sunday session there, you're not a true Brisbanite.
Beach Burrito Co. | Fortitude Valley
The sand might be fake but the frozen margaritas are real, so in our books this artificial Mexican beach party/beer garden is a winner. Good for a day-drinking session, and even better at night, Beach Burrito Co. has the added incentive of nachos.
Click here for more of the best bars in Brisbane!
Image credits: Daniel Maddock