If the plan is to escape the glowing allure of the television on your night out, then you’d best keep walking past SkySport Grill. Located along the Viaduct Harbour, the cable TV endorsed bar is apparently the country’s first purpose built sports grill and bar, boasting over 25 viewing screens. On this occasion I counted 17 (mostly playing the same thing), but that’s still enough to make you feel like you’ve accidentally strolled into a Harvey Norman showroom. Despite the constant flickering and ongoing commentary, it makes ‘The Grill’ an ideal spot to watch [enter sports game here] with your buddies, and give distraction to stagnant and awkward conversations.
The main drawcard, whether you’re a sports jock or not, is the bar’s generous selection of more than 40 beers on tap. Primarily hosting brews in the craft category, the wrap around beer dispensary is like no other in town. Its chrome front and splaying pipes act as a shiny beer totem beyond the screens. On the three-sided drinks list you’ll find beers from smaller brewers like Coromandel boutique brewery Hot Water and Auckland family-run business Weezledog, as well as larger scale outlets like Epic, Moa and Mac’s. There’s even a look in for the ‘Pride of the South’, Speights. Served by the pint or pitcher, the brews will set you back anywhere from $8 - $13 and $18 to $29 respectively. In the instance it’s all too overwhelming, then a sample of five beers can be purchased for $16.
Happy Hour is without a doubt the best time to go. Everyday from 5pm to 7pm the red cards come out and a select number of beers ring up at only $5 a pop. It was surprising to see a good amount of the smaller breweries were involved, especially when you’d look to pay up to $10 for a single bottle in the supermarket. With the alcohol percentage typically higher than your run of the mill tap beer, take caution.
To soak up all the hops, the menu hosts staunch drinking food based on American sports style bar cuisine. There are no smoke and mirrors here, just straightforward tucker like burgers, hotdogs, pies and steak. For the day after, there’s even something called the Hangover Basket, “for when you are red-eyed and bushy-tongued.”
Head over to Skysport Grill for good beer in a stimulating and athletic environment.