Every Inlet local knows about Aireys Pub. It’s technically been on the hill since 1904, but was completely razed at the height of the Ash Wednesday fires in 1983. It managed to run out of a tin shed before it was rebuilt, but was forced to close decades later when the previous owners abandoned the lease in 2011.

With a syndicate of locals chipping in, current publicans Tim Wood and Phil Johnson were able to save the pub from redevelopment; averting disaster in the process. And what they’ve saved seems like a classic, unassuming country pub from the outside.

Inside though, you’ll be met with three huge dining spaces and a sizeable stage for live music. The tables get crowded with locals and the tourist set, who come here for the outstanding pub fare made with regional produce. A couple items, such as the Bannockburn chicken parma and prosciutto pizza can be had for lunch and dinner. But in the evenings, you might try main such as pressed lamb shoulder with seasonal sides or oven-roasted Harissa cauliflower.

A fully-fledged microbrewery, Salt Brewing Co, is attached to the venue. Wood and Johnson installed it upon learning some of Australia’s best-known breweries were being snapped up by foreign companies. Peer through the window in the back dining room to see where the duo’s Salt lager, Moby pale ale and Cranky Missus double IPA are brewed. Grab a paddle and take it to the sprawling beer garden outside – it has unfettered views of the inlet below.

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Updated: August 13th, 2021

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