If Brisbane had an iconic contribution to the world of pubs and architecture, it would be the existence of the beer garden.
Those in Melbourne have their fireplaces, the Sydney ones either have that whole quaint yet cool (or obnoxiously slick) vibe going on but up here in the sunshine state it’s all about the beer garden on the pub design front.
Green and shaded with copious seating opportunities, screens screening sporting events and meaty options in the form of steak - Queensland hospitality eat your heart out.
It’s hot out, the people are in need of refreshment, watching their sports and getting in a good dose of red meat. The good old beer garden answers the call. Here’s our pick of Brisbane’s best.
The Breakfast Creek Hotel
The Breakfast Creek Hotel is a classic, and possibly the finest. There’s XXXX on tap and so many cuts of steak waiting to be grilled. The mushroom sauce is the pick of the sauces, and to borrow an expression from my friend Tickle for describing excellence, “so sauce”.
Arguably one of the great Brisbane buildings, The Normanby is worth celebrating (we’re dwindling on that front). The beer garden on the ground level can get a little rowdy at times, but when calling in for a quiet one (maybe two) it’s a winner.
The Pineapple Hotel
Okay, so when did The Pineapple Hotel get super hip and cool? The mind boggles. But you need to get to The Park Bar over summer because a) it overlooks the park and b) they have 15 beers on tap AND c) solid pub style fare. Winner winner.
Dare I say it? The Norman Hotel is the prettiest of them all. Many a good summer night has been spent here under their trees and fairy lights, all accompanied by a steak dinner.
The Paddo Hotel
It’s not really a garden, but we will make an exception for The Paddo, besides there’s so much greenery via the surrounding pots, and they leave the doors from the inside open, so the air conditioning flows throughout. High power bills, but good stuff.
The Royal Exchange
One of the greats, and one well known to anyone who’s gone through university in Brisbane. Don’t just file away The Royal Exchange for uni students, this one’s a goody for an afternoon session and the food is rather cheap during the week.
It’s a little bit more fancy than it used to be but don't worry the old school Regatta Hotel charm is still there. You’ll find rather comfy lounges made for lazy sessions here.
Iconic Valley pub The Wickham Hotel has had a bit of an update of late and has been transformed into one of the most stylish spots in Brisbane, with the crowning glory: a breezy alfresco beer garden perfect for weekend hangs with crew in the sunshine.
The Story Bridge Hotel
Oh such fun can be had sitting under the bridge at the one and only Story Bridge Hotel. And there is nothing more traditional that sitting in a beer garden and buying tickets for a fundraising meat tray.
Image credit: Daniel Maddock
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