Perhaps it’s something to do with oxidisation. Or vitamin D. Whatever the science behind it, it’s a known fact beer tastes better in the sun. (Note: may not be fact.) So naturally we seek out the best spots to drink the frothy stuff in the sun as summer extends our days. Here’s a guide to the best beer gardens, rooftops and outdoor bars in our city at which to get some sun on you this season.
Bather’s Beach House
A beer on the beach is a magical thing. Bather’s Beach House in Fremantle recently became WA’s first licensed beach, meaning you can dip your toes in the sand while sipping a cold one.
The bar here consists of 20 sun lounges with capacity for 40, so competition is high. But when you’re on your rump watching the amber sunset from one with a cold beer, you’ll be glad. There’s a variety of craft brews on offer from the main venue, including Eagle Bay Kosch, James Squire 150 Lashes Pale Ale and Nail Red Ale.
While this lively, two-storey establishment is beautiful on the inside, it’s all about nabbing a bench-seat outside. The industrial-chic vibe lends itself well to the Northbridge location, and you’ll find the courtyard crammed on warm days and nights – particularly at 5.01pm on Fridays.
The WA-heavy beer list includes Gage Roads Small Fin and Colonial Small Ale on tap, and several options by the bottle. The food is no slouch either, from creative bar bites and share plates, to heartier fare such as a Black Angus rump with frites.
Sweetwater Rooftop Bar
One of the city’s newer open-air additions, Sweetwater Rooftop Bar in East Fremantle is in a plum location with sweeping views of Swan River, the Indian Ocean and Fremantle Port.
A luxurious setting with a casual bent, this is a relaxed spot to while away the day, with hawker-style food from ex-Gingerboy head chef Leigh Power. Small plates such as fried chicken and filled baos, or larger dishes such as grilled fish wrapped in banana leaf and served with a yellow curry, are highlights. Pair it with a beer list of draught, bottles and cans including Little Creatures Elsie and Dog Days and James Squire 150 Lashes Pale Ale.
With its mass of leafy trees, the sprawling courtyard at The Brisbane on Beaufort Street in Highgate is a Sunday afternoon favourite. There’s plenty of space to perch with a few pals, with benches and stools scattered in cosy corners and under shade.
The pizzas here are excellent – try the potato, parmesan and rosemary, or for the meat lovers, prawn, pancetta, salsa verde and fior di latte. Pair it with one of the extensive range of local craft beers available, including Fox Hat Lusty Lager, Little Creatures Rogers, Kaiju! Robohop Golden IPA and White Rabbit Dark Ale.
The Beach Club
The blue-and-white sophistication of the iconic Cottesloe Beach Hotel’s outdoor space attracts a stylish crowd. Set just near the water, The Beach Club feels like a Mediterranean hub – with a menu to match. Think grain salad with pomegranate and labneh, barramundi, wood-fired pizzas and warm olives to share. The beer list is a mix of Italian names and local brews such as Little Creatures and the Cottesloe-made Pylon HGA.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with James Squire.