Maybe it’s the long winter, but Melburnians have a knack for embracing outdoor opportunities when they arise. To help determine the most fitting pub for your needs, we’ve compiled a list of outdoor drinking spots that befit the occasion.
Soaking up the sun – Thornbury Bowling Club
Thornbury Bowling Club is a classic; large viewing windows to the greens, retro memorabilia throughout the bar and friendly faces of all ages. When the sun pokes through, there are few better places in Melbourne to make the most of it. Book a lane with your mates, grab a Thornbury Lager – brewed by 3 Ravens – and tramp the fresh cut grass.
Craft beer options include Hawkers, Temple and Stockade. The club welcomes regular food pop-ups and live music, and earlier this year it hosted the National Pinball Championships.
A quiet pint with friends – The Palace Hotel
South Melbourne’s Palace Hotel has not one but two spacious outdoor areas as well as a front bar, a large dining room and – perhaps best of all – a resident Staffordshire bull terrier, Billy. The casual pub keeps a solid list of craft beers on rotation and features breweries such as Fixation, Fury & Son and Co-Conspirators. Its dog-friendly status means your best mate is welcome in the beer garden where you can dine on pub staples such as pizzas, steaks, parmas and some vegetarian options.
Group get together – Stomping Ground
If you’re looking for somewhere to base your group gathering – rowdy, retiring or otherwise – Collingwood brewpub Stomping Ground is a reliable bet. The key feature of this stylish ex-warehouse is its retractable roof, which makes the beer garden viable in any weather. Eighteen of the taps serve their own beers, and no problem if any of your party can’t decide which one you want; staff members are certified cicerones (beer sommeliers) and the food menu even has suggested pairings.
After-work drinks – Arbory Bar & Eatery
The Arbory is a real crowd-pleaser. The outdoor bar is large, leafy and central, running 150 metres along a stretch of the Yarra in the CBD, so it’s perfectly scalable for the will-they, won’t-they-join-us element to every work gathering. Stay for share plates, craft beers and some of Melbourne’s best burgers. When you’ve exhausted your social duties, Flinders Street Station is next door.
Sunday session – Carwyn Cellars
A Sunday session requires a few key ingredients: good drinks, good food and a low-key outdoor vibe. Carwyn Cellars – just off High Street in Thornbury – is where you can wind down your weekend. The team works hard to ensure it has interesting, hard-to-find beers across its 20 taps. For restorative food order non-traditional pizzas from The Moor’s Head, or diner staples from Kustom Burgers, which can be delivered straight to your al-fresco table.
This article produced by Broadsheet in partnership with James Squire.