A freshly poured, ice-cold cider is best enjoyed in the sunshine. According to our research, summer is predisposed to distributing a large amount of sunshine around the city, making it the perfect season for cider sipping. In this spirit, we’ve rounded up five of the best cider-friendly places to test our theory.
Welcome to Thornbury
In a past life this space was a Morris Minor factory. Today, it has a huge garden teeming with food, drink and sun-lounging options. A variety of food trucks are always on rotation, among them Jimmy Grants, Señor Churro and Bluebonnet Barbecue, and with a well-stocked bar it’s become a destination unto itself. Cider options are plentiful – Bonamy’s Apple cider is on tap, while bottled selections in the fridge await.
Welcome to Thornbury can host hundreds of people outside, so it’s not hard to find a nook to sun yourself in, but reservations are also available for those who want to bag a spot without the risk of losing it when getting up for another drink. Darebin locals get sweet deals, and your furry pals are welcome to chill with you outside under the beach umbrellas.
The Terminus is an iconic Abbotsford pub that’s managed to retain its art deco charm even through an extensive renovation and then reopen in 2014. Once a dingy dive bar, it now features a public bar, second level bar, a two-level “urban jungle” garden and an outdoor terrace bar.
Head chef Geoffrey Jeon heads up a kitchen of reimagined pub classics ranging from burgers to wagyu striploin steaks. Choose a sun-drenched bar and pair your kitchen fare with a selection from a cider range including Bulmers, Dirty Granny and Bonamy’s.
One of Melbourne’s newest (and grandest) venues, Garden State on Flinders Lane has several dining and drinking spaces to choose from across four levels. But for the excellent outdoor experience here, enter via Flinders Lane or Duckboard Place and head through to the centre of the building into the lush indoor garden.
The bar will keep you sated with seven cider options on tap, while the adjacent Kiosk serves miso-roasted lamb pitas with fries, or for something from the counter menu – a cheese toastie with dill pickles; a Wagyu hotdog with fries; or cheese and salumi boards). Sit back of an afternoon when the sun is high and sink into your own little oasis.
Another welcome new addition to the city, Hightail on Collins Street comes to you from the team behind Welcome to Thornbury.
Like that drawcard, this canteen-style venue is big on outdoor space and food –Belle’s Hot Chicken, Mr Burger and Super Taco each have stalls inside. There are two giant bars with 64 taps dedicated to cold craft drinks, including Bonamy’s cider. Thanks to the jungle-themed interior, floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the west end of Collins Street and a temperature-controlled indoor/outdoor atrium, you may decide to hide away here until long after sunset.
Beside Princes Bridge on Federation Wharf lies a historic gem perfect for riverside drinks. Riverland Bar is basically a stunning outdoor bar overlooking the river, surrounded by the shade of leafy trees.
During summer Bang Bang canteen (Bang Bang at the Rifle Club’s pop-up) serves up French-influenced Indochine cuisine and there are boards with seafood, antipasto and cheese available to nibble on. With a choice of four ciders to select from, it might well be Melbourne’s best spot to plant yourself and while away a summer afternoon.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Bonamy’s Cider. Made using 100% whole-pressed Tasmanian apples and French winemaking techniques, Bonamy’s Cider is a dry style of cider perfect for summer.