Melbourne’s Ultimate Beer Gardens
It’s time to step out into the sunshine and bask in the glory of that ‘its-almost-summer’ feeling, and what better way to make use of the warmer weather than by wasting away a lazy afternoon with friends in one of Melbourne’s numerous beer gardens. Here is our list of Melbourne’s finest beverage venues of the outdoor variety.
1. Arbory Bar & Eatery - Melbourne
For an outdoor bar Arbory was surprisingly packed throughout the winter, so we can only begin to imagine the crowds during the summer. To top off a killer setting along the water and 150 metres of prime outdoor bar, Arbory also offer a spectacularly tantalizing menu of optimum drinking food (think loaded chili dogs, truffle fries and an awesome fried chicken burger). With the addition of Espresso Martinis on tap and an impressive array of beers – why would you want to be anywhere else?
2. The College Lawn - Prahran
Ah, the College Lawn. A place whose Sunday Sessions have reached a kind of legendary status. Tucked away among the suburban streets of Prahran, the College Lawn has a reputation for being the meeting place to enjoy the sunshine and beers in their split level beer garden complete with its own separate outdoor bar and 10 of your favourite beers on tap.
3. Le Bon Ton - Collingwood
Just when you thought the promise of slow cooked beef brisket, fried chicken or chili cheese fries was enough to get you to one Melbourne’s best American BBQ establishments, wait until you see their adorable astro-turf beer garden out the back. A warm night, sitting under the stars, beer in hand and the smell of smoked meat filling the air as you tuck into glorious pulled pork sandwich – should we meet you there? Tonight? Now?
4. The Prince Alfred - Richmond
Out the back of the Prince Alfred, away from the leather sofas and cigar lounge indoors, awaits a leafy green drinking oasis. A separate bar and ample seating means you can easily settle in for a long session soaking in the sunshine with your crew. Sundays at PAs means $10 pizza and $5 Schooners from midday along with live music to really mellow you out before the start of another week. Feeling peckish? You can grab something off their extensive menu or venture to Lucas Group favourites Baby Pizza or Kong BBQ, which are both located only minutes from your beer garden refuge.
5. The Village - St Kilda
Providing solace along the corporate graveyard that is St Kilda Road, The Village is a beacon of hope for office workers looking to celebrate the end of the working day. The warmer months mean sitting outside under the fairy lights, sipping brews and spilling office secrets during Friday night drinks with your colleagues. Keep your eyes peeled for the convoy of food trucks that often find themselves parked at The Village waiting to feed the hungry masses.
A leafy sanctuary among the concrete playground of the CBD, their iconic fairy lights hanging over the beer garden provide a beacon of refuge for many a city worker looking to unwind after a long day. With an impressive list of 14 tap beers, 24 bottled beers and over 100 wines to choose from, you are definitely not short of options; and if that wasn’t enough indecision to send you into a spiral of FOMO wait until you see their menu…
7. Dr Morse - Abbotsford
Dr. Morse provides the best of both worlds: the elegance of a cocktail bar with the laid-back vibes of a local pub that just happens to have a kick-ass beer garden out the back. Dr. Morse transitions perfectly from a lazy brunch spot to a stylish bar serving up delicious cocktails and amazing food. We are particularly fond of their Bloody Marys served with freshly squeezed tomato juice and a fried pickle – heaven.
8. The Rainbow Hotel
This stoic back street pub has been pumping out live music and tapping beer for over 140 years. On a usual night you’ll find crowds of Fitzroy residents enjoying their favourite steak night or parma special while watching local bands, which can be heard in the spacious undercover beer garden out the back. Here you can sling some pool or simply kick back and watch the footy. Every man and his dog is welcome and you’ll often find a rogue pooch eager for a pat. Beer fans should also take note: the bar stocks over 100 beers. You can sign up to join the closely guarded community that is the 101 Club, where membership is only recognized after working your way through the entire frothie catalogue.
9. The Retreat Hotel
Marked by its blossoming purple Jacaranda, this beer garden captures the vibe of your mate’s backyard thanks to the wide patches of lawn to stretch out on. Just don’t fall asleep in the sun. By day the Retreat is a casual, family friendly-affair where you can nibble on edamame beans and pulled pork sliders until the sun dips low. After dark you’ll find a line up of eclectic music acts ranging from 60’s psychedelia to folk, punk and straight up rock.
10. The Boatbuilder's Yard - South Wharf
A bar that is more outdoor than indoor, people flock to the Boatbuilder’s yard whenever a sliver of sunshine presents itself. Prime spots include the deck chairs that line the edge of the Yarra and provide the illusion you’re on holiday somewhere faraway while the bigger tables out the back provide the perfect set up for bigger groups looking to get a bit rowdy.