Wiling away the winter weekends is much better when you’re doing it sat in a great pub garden with your mates, pint in hand and within short proximity to a cosy heater. Looking to tee up a solid Sunday sesh with your fellow beer garden lovers? Here are the best beer gardens in Melbourne for winter, complete with blankets, hot chips, and drinks galore.
Welcome To Thornbury
Northcote’s permanent food truck space, Welcome To Thornbury, has upped its game for winter. Their deck has just had a brand new roof installed, and the hot spot’s stadium-style seating is heated too. They’re also running twilight markets throughout winter, so rug up and lock in a date for burgers, beers and more trucking goodness.
A good, ol’ fashioned hotel in South Melbourne, the Railway Hotel has a large outdoor area that’s ready and waiting for you to fill it with your friends. Better yet, you can book a table, making sure you get a prime spot in the cooler months.
Garden State Hotel
A newcomer to the Melbourne bar scene, Garden State Hotel is a cracking new venue on Flinders Lane, complete with three floors of eating and drinking space including a plant-filled beer garden. The perfect after-work CBD spot for a cocktail or two in the crisp open air.
Temple Brewing Co
Temple Brewing Co is keeping the winter warmers old-school, with the installation of chimineas and warm blankets. You’ll also find some epic hot dishes on the new menu, including Singapore chilli pork belly and the Tiramistout—a beer twist on tiramisu. Pass us a spoon…
It’s tough finding a beer garden that will accommodate a crowd in Melbourne CBD, but Arbory, aka. the longest bar in Melbourne, is a fab pick for open-air drinking in the colder months. They also do a mean leek and manchego cheese croquette. We’ll have 3,491 of those, thanks.
The Great Northern
The Great Northern is one of our faves for watching the footie in the open air. The legendary pub’s back garden has enough room for half of Carlton, and even has its own tap bar so there’s no need to nip inside for the next round. Drop in on a Monday or Tuesday night for some drool-worthy food specials, then thank us later.
College Lawn Hotel
Just off Greville Street (and an almost too convenient walk from Prahran train station), the College Lawn’s beer garden is secluded, so you’ll be kept toasty even if the wind picks up, the kitchen serves a 400g rib-eye, and there’s a ten tap bar on the garden’s perimeter. If that’s not a recipe for a great Sunday session, we don’t know what is.
Somewhat of an institution, The Standard is the ultimate winter beer garden for those of you who like to keep it simple. With heaters, picnic tables, Guinness on tap, and a dips trio that comes with an entire loaf of bread, you’ll have no bother knocking back a few in the fresh air here.
If you like your beer gardens with DJs, cocktails and on the odd occasion, a smouldering spit roast, Abbotsford bar Dr Morse needs to be on your Winter hang-out list. With a heated courtyard-slash-dance floor (or maybe that’s just our interpretation after a few cocktails?!), we never fail to have an epic night here, no matter what the temperature!
Prince Alfred Hotel
Asides for having outrageously good-looking bar staff, the Prince Alfred’s beer garden provides A1 service from its gigantic back bar that leads onto its beer garden. It’s also a little more posh than the average, making it our pick for a bottle of bubbles on a winter’s day in Melbourne.
If bar snacks and cocktails are your bag (hey, we’ll drink Aperol spritz all year round), The Grand is home to a smashing heated beer garden complete with ping-pong table! When we say we’re doing some outdoor exercise this season, we’re really here.
Heaters! Foliage! Tacos! While The Windsor Castle’s interior is a sight to behold in itself, the back courtyard is a fantastic pick for some winter catch ups that are likely to last late into the evening. We’d recommend enjoying the fish tacos with a glass of a local wine nestled under one of the garden’s many heaters.
The Local Taphouse
St Kilda East
Cute fairy lights and #allthebeer make The Local Taphouse on Carlisle Street our Winter beer garden pick for all you hop heads. Sample a variety of beers on a paddle, along with the Brewers Board—a beer-friendly cheese and charcuterie selection—and you’ll be singing.
The Boatbuilders Yard’s heated roof is your absolute saviour if you’re in need of a warming pit stop while strolling along the Southbank. While it’s busy at the weekends, we’ve found nabbing a seat after work on a Wednesday or Thursday a little easier. Order some pork skewers and spicy chicken wings on the side, and you’ve the making of a top-notch winter night.
Looking for more winter pubs? CHecl our our best pubs with fireplaces.
Image credit: Temple Brewing Co, Michelle Jarni for The Urban List