The beloved beer garden. A spacious habitat where humans come to meet, discuss the daily grind and most importantly, sink glorious, golden beers amongst the shady foliage.
Although us Aussies can’t claim its creation (let’s give a collective thanks to Germany), the tradition has certainly made an impression, and it’s one that’s here to stay. So, let’s raise a schooner, and make a toast to Sydney’s most impressive outdoorsy beer hangs.
Here are Sydney’s best beer gardens.
Beach Road Hotel
Beach Road Hotel is a shining beacon of beer garden hope in the Bondi bubble. As an absolute institution; simultaneously being the perfect place to grab a meal, hang out with friends, play pool and catch some live music, the beer garden space here (otherwise known as “The Valley West Outside”) features plenty of tables and stools to get around plus a sling of festoon party lights to drink under.
Coogee Bay Hotel
Because where else can you score coastal views and garden brews in Sydney? Coogee Bay Hotel (or “The Bay” if you’re a regular) is a heavy-hitter in Sydney with one of the biggest beer gardens boasting craft beers, wines and cocktails. When the weekend hits you can expect a solid line-up of bands and DJs, and come Friday and Saturday, you can also hang here until 3am.
The Rose Hotel
As well as keeping a whopping 28 rotating craft beers (and there’s a bunch of classics there too), heaps of tinnies, organic and biodynamic wines, The Rose Hotel sports a very charming beer garden to knock them all back in. As for the outdoor space itself, it’s decked out in fairy lights, wooden booths and an overhead cover, so you can make the most of weekly weekday specials like $10 pizza and $12 pizza, rain, hail or shine.
You asked for an epic beer garden, and The Newport has just this. Located on the shores of Pittwater, this idyllic venue offers both a view and large gathering space for friends and family (and by large we mean they offer a map on the menu) with a mammoth alfresco stretch where you can soak up all the marketplace feels. And to make things even better, she’s also dog-friendly. Feeling Fancy? Head upstairs to Bert’s for oysters and champagne.
Terrey Hills Tavern
The jewel of the Terrey Hills Tavern is the Balinese alfresco beer garden. With water features, outdoor bar and booth seating, this sprawling spot is dressed in palm trees and lights. As for the food? Go hard on the nachos loaded with sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, house-fried corn chips. And if you’ve got more room, there’s a foot-long smoked brisket hoagie to dig into with grilled onions, dill pickles, cheese and juicy ranch sauce.
The Oaks is fresh off the back of a thirsty multi-million dollar refurb and if you know anything about insanely good beer courtyards, you’ll know this is the place to be. Home to a 70-year old oak tree wrapped in fairy lights, this leafy hang has everything from a chill patio perfect for downing shared mezze plates, to an absolute rager packed to the rafters with a huge screen for grand final night.
Sauce Brewing Co.
We’re not going to lie, you could very well get your beer and tan on in Sauce Brewing’s completely open beer garden (which makes it an absolute 10 out of 10 location on any hot day). This microbrewery creates a solid range of craft beers so whether you’re a hop-head, sour-freak or an ale-fan, you’ll be well looked after here. Thursday is pizza night here and you can also lap up all the food truck vibes every Friday through Sunday. And if you thought things couldn’t get any better, she’s also super dog-friendly.
Public House Petersham
Public House Petersham revamped their beer garden not too long ago, converting it into a modern take on the old classic. Think pot plants, mismatched stools and local craft beers. With large tables suited for getting the Brady Bunch together, or smaller ones for more intimate catch-ups, PHP serves everyone’s needs. Be sure to try a wood-fired pizza, as you sip on your lager and take in the ambience. Plus, there’s a pinball machine you need to get around.
It’s recently had a thirsty restoration and now, The Oxford Tavern sports a line-up of locally owned and independent brews, live music sessions, wild weekend parties, an ongoing rotation of epic events and yep, you guessed it, an insane beer garden. On the weekends, this courtyard beauty throws a Sunday Roast with a BBQ twist from 12pm (until sold out) not to be missed. This gem comes with your choice of beef brisket, pork belly or pulled jackfruit, roast potatoes, honey roasted carrots, steamed broccoli, English gravy and a house-baked Yorkshire pudding.
Apart from being one of the very few Sydney pubs that cures, brines, pickles and ferments in-house, you’ll love The Henson because it unravels into a funky little set-up. The beer garden is peppered over with foliage (the perfect amount so the sun still hits the pavement), festoon lights, striped brollies and a heap of tin kegs so you can easily set up shop with your mates with half a kilo of chicken wings and a cold one.
The Prince Hotel
For one of the biggest beer gardens in the Sutherland Shire, look no further than The Prince Hotel. Famous for its ice-cold tap beers and bistro feeds, you’ll want to draw your attention to the braised beef cheeks and prawn spag bowl loaded with chilli, garlic and lemon, this no-frills sprawl ticks all the boxes.
Hit up Bangor Tavern for a mammoth dog-friendly beer garden that’s bursting with lush greens, bright festoons, street art, a luxe garden bar and all the live sport. This outdoor stretch is constantly buzzing and sees DJs light the space up every Saturday with $10 espresso martinis from 4pm – 7pm and sneaky $5 house beers from 3pm every day of the week.
And here are all the best pub feeds to get around.
Image credit: Oxford Tavern