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Now that the weather is warming up, and the smell of summer is starting to saturate the air, weekend breaks to Brisbane are looking more appealing. And what’s a better way to embrace the (almost) summer weather than a Sunday session in a beer garden? So, get booking that Brisbane hotel because the following is a guide to the best of the Brisbane beer hangouts, with insider deets about what to eat and drink!
Belgian Beer Café
Catch a European encounter closer to home with a stop at Brisbane’s Belgian Beer Café. Situated in downtown Brisbane on the corner of Mary and Edward Streets, it’s a perfect place for a bevvy with your mates, a business beer or dinner with the family. The beer garden brings together the very best in Belgian beer and Belgian food, with top drops including the smooth and subtle Maredsous 6 Blonde, and the spicy taste of the Bourgogne Brune. For the beer drinkers who prefer a fruity twist, the peche is a sure hit as is the strawberry sensation, framboise. If you’re not keen on a huge meal, Belgian-themed bar snacks are always available, including the grilled chorizo baguette with roasted capsicum.
Hidden in the heart of the cultured and cool neighbourhood that is West End is the vibrant Lock’n’Load Bistro. Primarily populated by a creative and artsy crowd, Lock’n’Load provides great entertainment a la people-watching. It has a gorgeous courtyard area for patrons to make the most of their beers in the hot Brisbane sun. The bistro food is fabulous, with fare including dark ale-braised beef cheeks, confit duck leg risotto and Cape Grim grass-fed sirloin. The drinks are always flowing, with all of your favourite brews on tap, including Coopers, Little Creatures, Stone & Wood and Tiger. Start with a few brews in the afternoon sun before moving inside to the main bar to check out the evening’s entertainment on the main stage.
The Elephant Arms
One of the Valley’s finest hangouts, the Elephant Arms attracts the coolest of the cool to its timber-lined beer garden. With a huge, 9-metre-long bar boasting all of the best in local and international, beer and wine, it’s a great place to kick back and relax with a bevvie. Your entertainment is covered with a number of awesome acts on show every week, from duos and soloists to live cover bands. And having just changed hands and landing in the capable arms of Tourism Australia chairman Geoff Dixon and his fellow business partners, who together own eight Sydney pubs, this is one venue that will only improve with time.
Lying in the midst of the chaos and craziness of the nightlife found at Fortitude Valley, the recently refurbished Jubilee Hotel has transformed itself into one of Brisbane’s hottest entertainment venues. A bit of a local institution, the “Jube” was first opened in 1888. You can happily experience a bit of Brisbane history whilst knocking back a Hahn Gold. Home to one of Brisbane’s best beer gardens along an awesome indoor bar, a huge gaming room, a range of function rooms and a great restaurant serving Mexican-themed fare, the Jubilee Hotel caters to all ages and occasions. If you can, try to catch one of the epic Sunday sessions that kick off at around noon — and go on until late in the evening.
Plough Inn Tavern
Bordering the Brisbane River in the middle of Southbank is the Plough Inn Tavern, one of Brissy’s many heritage-listed watering holes. This opened way back in 1885. The beer garden catches the sun all throughout the year, and offers stellar views of Brisbane city and the gorgeous Brisbane skyline. With 11 beers on tap and an awesome selection of craft beers available, this is a spot for the serious beer drinker. If you’re also keen to sample some food while imbibing, a must-try is the house specialty of hickory barbecue pork ribs.
About the Author: Tassie-based Kaitlin Corrs is a food and wine blogger.