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. No, this article is not narrated by David Attenborough *stops English accent*, but we’re hella sure Sir Attenborough loves this environment as much as we do.
Although us Aussies can’t claim its creation (thanks BTW 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 best beer gardens.
Public House Petersham
Public House Petersham have revamped their beer garden, 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 #enoughsaid.
You asked for a garden, and The Newport have certainly delivered. Joining other Merivale establishments you just know you’re in for a good time. Located on the shores of Pittwater, this idyllic venue offers both a view and large gathering space for friends and family (by large we mean they offer a map on the menu). There’s a reason they say North Sydney-siders aren’t afraid to brag, and with an establishment like this you’ll begin to understand why.
Coogee Bay Hotel
Coogee is known for its beach, summer vibes and lush green spaces. But the beer garden at Coogee Bay is attracting more than just your regular beachgoers. With a vast space on offer, this is the perfect venue for social get-togethers and impromptu catch-ups. These guys have all your pub nibblies, like spicy Buffalo wings with a blue cheese mayo as well as poke bowls and other great eats.
The Golden Barley Hotel
You wouldn’t necessarily expect to find a spacious beer garden, where wooden picnic tables are centred around lush greenery, in the Inner West. But the Golden Barley is proving us all wrong. In the day, be immersed in dappled sunlight, and by night enjoy a beverage under the stars. With live music offered Thursdays and Sundays, it all seems too good to be true.
One of Sydney’s most beloved pubs, The Henson, continually delivers. Whether you’ve had a rough day at work, or you’re just keen to share a few frothies with mates, The Henson is here to lend a helping hand. Their beer garden offers an inviting ambience, where beer kegs have been transformed into stools, and pot plants hang from a rustic, tin roof. The food is also fab, boasting locally grown produce and their own herb and vegetable garden. Beer served with a side of sustainability? Yes please.
The Ivanhoe Hotel
With walls dedicated to staghorn ferns and chic-vibe, the Ivanhoe promises a pub without the grub (but don’t freak out, there is definitely food here). It’s refreshing take on beer gardens, makes it the perfect place to relax. From first impression, you’d think you’re at a beach house in the Hamptons (minus the Kardashians). The open-air garden let’s you feel the breeze, whilst enjoying a bev (or 5).
If you’re obsessed with fairy lights, and the site of a stunning, big-ass oak tree makes you feel at one with nature, then The Oaks if for you. Being one of Sydney’s most iconic pubs, they’ve certainly nailed the food and atmosphere combo. Dishes include Japanese disco fries, and the much-loved classic cheeseburger with spiced tomato ketchup for grownups (their words not ours).
It has become a rite of passage to end up at the Beresford after one-too many drinks on a night out. But do these guys a favour and check them out when you’re not seeing double. They offer up some awesome cocktails, like a classic margarita, or if you’re feeling adventurous, the Beatrix kiddo, with added charcoal (that’s supposed to be healthy, right?).
Watsons Bay Hotel
Watsons Bay Hotel transports you straight to Europe; think luxe lunches on the Amalfi coast (not your Contiki reality). Perched on the harbour, this sea-side establishment is the place to show off Sydney (especially to your stubborn ‘Melbourne’s-the-best-city’ friends). Take those traitors here and nestle back in smug AF with an Aperol spritz.
Ahh The Sheaf. You’ve never let us down. And your beer garden is no exception. Whether it’s footy or some live entertainment these guys have you covered. Soak up the rays, or simply down a cold one, or do both, we’re all friends here.
The Norfolk’s beer garden is like your mate’s backyard. It has random furniture, an eclectic pot-plant display and that one friend who’s just there for the brews. On Thursdays splurge on $15 wings and waffles, and don’t forget those $5 drinks at happy hour.
Without bias (maybe a little), The Courty is everything we love about the Inner West. A drinking hole that pays homage to Newtown and its miscellaneous collection of characters, these guys even have a night dedicated to crab racing. But if crustaceans battling it out for first place doesn’t knock you boots off, a good game of pool might to the trick.
The Balmain is like Mexico meets Polynesia, with a bit of Cuba thrown in the mix. Their colourful garden makes you feel like you’re on vacay somewhere tropical and we sure as hell aren’t complaining. A place where fruity cocktails and chili coconut pork belly are on offer on the daily, and Thursday’s are made all the more sweeter by 2 for 1 pizzas.
The Chippo Hotel
Good vibes all round’ is what this place should reaaallly be called. From the outset, you’d think this pub was Aussie through and through. But you’re wrong. So wrong. With a southern-style inspired menu (hot wings, mac and cheese, you know the drill), you’ll be feeling brand-spanking New (Orleans) in no time!
If you're skilled in the art of multi-tasking, here are some activities you can do while enjoying that cool scooner of beer.
Image credit: The Oaks