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FOOD & DRINK

Brisbane's Best Happy Hours for Some Serious Co-Worker Bonding

Options that will see you and your colleagues sinking cheap beers rather than chatting about spreadsheets.
By Sarah Ward
October 04, 2017
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Brisbane's Best Happy Hours for Some Serious Co-Worker Bonding

Options that will see you and your colleagues sinking cheap beers rather than chatting about spreadsheets.
By Sarah Ward
October 04, 2017
  shares

BRISBANE'S BEST HAPPY HOURS FOR SOME SERIOUS CO-WORKER BONDING

in partnership with

Options that will see you and your colleagues sinking cheap beers rather than chatting about spreadsheets.

There's a time and a place for everything. Everyone from your mum to your boss has probably told you that — and they're right. It's a piece of advice that applies to quite a few situations, including the ol' nine-to-five workday.

After eight-or-so hours spent making a buck, time ticks over to happy hour, and the only business decision left to make is what bar you and your coworkers should down a cold one in. Don't just rush to your nearest watering hole though. Instead, do yourself a true after-hours favour by finding the city's best post-work drinking spots.

This is where we come in. With the help of American Express, we've downed many a post-work beer in search of the best happy hours in Brisbane — especially the ones where you can stock up on some extra Amex points. Thankfully, with its balmy weather and bounty of bars, the city isn't lacking when it comes to after-work boozing spots. Gather your work crew at quittin' time and head to one of these, and you'll forget all about spreadsheets, office politics and whoever left sushi leftovers in the fridge.

Got yourself in another dining situation and need some guidance? Whatever it is, we know a place. Visit The Shortlist and we'll sort you out.

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    Bavarian Bier Cafe

    Everything about the Bavarian Beer Cafe screams Germany — its theming, its menu of schnitzel, German sausage et al., and its lengthy list of schnapps and weissbier. And yet, one glance out of the Eagle Street Pier establishment’s windows or over its balcony, and there’s no mistaking that this slice of Bavaria is smack-bang in the middle of Brisbane. Looking at the Brisbane River will do that, naturally.

    It’s the best of both worlds — as well as one of the CBD’s best spots to grab a beer and a bite if you want a killer view. Arrive between 4pm and 6pm for cheap cocktails, and large beer steins for the price of smaller ones. We’ll say prost to that.

    If you fancy trying a few tipples, craft beer paddles are a great way to get your coworkers talking over a few drinks. Adding something to eat — pretzels perhaps — is also recommended.

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  • 8

    If a place named Greaser Bar didn’t serve up burgers, there’d be trouble. Thankfully, it does. It also serves up drinks specials — and, if you drop by mid-week, you’ll likely find a combo of both.

    Food-wise, you won’t just find any old American-style offerings in this rock ‘n’ roll dive bar — you’ll find as close to cheeseburger perfection as you’re likely to get without jumping on a plane and journeying to the US. Simplicity is the key, with ground Angus beef, cheese, pickles, onions, tomato, lettuce and burger sauce all you need for mouthwatering greatness.

    As for beverages, you can’t go past cold brews of the American craft kind, or hearty spirits. Sometimes, an after-work escape means going somewhere that’s as unlike the office as you can find, with the drinks to match, and this certainly fits the bill.

    Image: Anwyn Howarth.

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  • 7

    When it comes to location, The Charming Squire delivers, thanks to its stoic yet warmly welcoming position in South Brisbane’s entertainment and cultural precinct. When it comes to after-work relaxation, it does just the same. Pro tip: With their midday happy hour, you also have a chance for a sneaky, discounted bev at lunch, too.

    Stepping inside, one is immediately treated to a “have I died and gone to Sophisticated Beer Barn Heaven?” moment. High ceilings, exposed kegs, a shiny timber and stainless steel fit-out and a copper-covered main bar replete with the gallery of Squire beers and ciders on tap adorn the plush ground floor. Stairs lead to a mezzanine level too.

    Of course, there are no prizes for guessing what beverage everyone should be drinking, and you’ll find Squire tipples in abundance here. Pints come for $8 so do their core spirits and house wines. So, pair your beer with some whiskey for an extra happy hour — just don’t forget that you have to work the next day.

    Image: Anwyn Howarth.

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  • 6

    Super Whatnot is a little piece of New York City in a place that’s a little closer to home. Situated in Brisbane’s Burnett Lane, the inner city haunt is perfect for those looking for something akin to a Manhattan speakeasy — as well as claiming the title of the city’s ‘first serious laneway bar’ when it opened its doors at the turn of the decade.

    Super Whatnot is small in size but not in impact, as its drinks menu makes plain. The bar boasts a rotating selection of boutique beers and wines, meaning there is always something new to try.

    And, while the cocktail list may be compact, it’s well balanced and has been carefully selected, comprising of both original and classic concoctions. Be sure to try the Tommy margarita, which gives its namesake a fresh twist and goes down nicely in the warm weather. Drop by from 4pm to 6pm for daily specials to really make the most of it

     

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  • 5

    Late nights, live music, quirky cocktails and tasty pub grub, The Flying Cock is a style of bar that leaves your ears ringing and your stomach wanting more. Of course, you mightn’t be able to stay up until the next day when you’ve got work the following morning, you can still enjoy everything the venue has to offer during an early evening session.

    Venture upstairs and you’ll feel like you’re on the set of a Pirates of the Caribbean movie, with rustic naval netting, fishing accoutrements and sea shanty paraphernalia entwined above the bartenders’ heads. Alternatively, set up shop at one of the sturdy wooden tables outside the doors of the downstairs bar and enjoy their typical dive menu of familiar food for less than the price of a cocktail.

    If it sounds like it’s great for groups, that’s because it is. Two-for-one parmas on Wednesdays can help you turn a happy hour into a meal, while regular beer yoga sessions will take your co-worker bonding up several notches.

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  • 4

    Set right on the river, Byblos is where the northeasterners flock on their way home. Of course, you don’t have to be a northsider to want to join the fun.

    Perhaps this is a spot best saved for Friday shenanigans — it makes for quite the party to look forward to as the week ticks by. When the working grind is done, Byblos just wants to have fun with happy hour from 4pm to 6pm, live music from 5pm to 8pm, and a great Mediterranean-inspired tapas menu to keep you extra content.

    Just make sure you factor in some time to peruse all 24 pages of the booze menu if you’re staying past the designated special window. Otherwise, pick from five beers on tap, three wines and six basic spirits, or the biggest $10 cocktail list you’re likely to find.

    Image: Anwyn Howarth.

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  • 3

    Move over dive bars and gastropubs — there’s another kind of watering hole in town. That’d be the alehouse, home to foamy alcoholic liquids aplenty, plus all the delicious bites to eat that help the craft brews go down.

    Indeed, Mr Edward’s Alehouse champions its food as much as its drinks — though it’s the latter that’ll get you through the door after work. Here you’ll find the biggest selection of Coopers beer in Queensland, a special range of Bacchus Brewing Co.’s dessert concoctions, and their signature sour pale ale cocktail, as well as daily Crafternoons specials from 4pm to 6pm.

    The Edward Street haunt is also fond of creating a relaxed, rustic atmosphere in its little corner of the Botanic Gardens-end of the CBD. Witness their tables made from wood recycled from old Queenslanders and wall covered in photos of its location more than a century ago for further laidback evidence as you’re enjoying an ale or several.

    Image: Anwyn Howarth.

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  • 2

    There’s always something on at The Elephant. Really, that’s reason enough to drop by. $5 schooners and wines, $6 spirits, free pool on Mondays, pizza deals on Wednesdays — sure, CBD workers will have to hop on over to the Valley, but it’s worth it.

    Since ditching the wheelbarrow, having a facelift and becoming less of a last drinks pit-stop and more of an all-evening venue, The Elephant has become a trusty Wickham Street destination. The beer garden, with its bright murals, well-stocked bar and outdoor live music stage, is a great place to enjoy the last of the day’s sun with a pint and a wood-fired slice. Or mosey upstairs for an inviting cocktail list and lounge seating.

    And, if your work crew like live tunes, you’ll be in the right spot for a post-happy hour gig. In one of the few places in Brisbane where you can catch some tunes almost every night of the week, expect acoustic singer-songwriter sets, original band shows, rock’n’roll tribute shows, karaoke and classic pub rock all in one hangout.

    Image: Anwyn Howarth.

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    Mammoth by name, mammoth by nature. Formerly known as ye ol’ Mustang Bar, the Fortitude Valley venue is likely the area’s largest beer hall, serving a huge range of craft beers on-tap alongside gourmet fare, games and live entertainment.

    Hitting up the joint between 4pm and 6pm weekdays is recommended for the happiest hours possible, but you’ll still have fun afterwards if you’re stuck in the office until later. Here you’ll find raw brick, a giant stuffed mammoth and a craft bar with 23 beers on tap, all rotating with small-releases batches. You”ll never have to drink the same tipple twice.

    Or, head upstairs to the Hamptons-style tropical oasis that is the Garden Bar, complete with greenery, clashing patterns, white wood and Pimms on tap. Use the fake green to play bocce or engage in a game of giant Jenga. If you can make it in during the day, the space is bright and airy — the roof shutters open to let the best of Brisbane’s sunshine in.

     

    As you drink and dine with your American Express, reap all the sweet rewards of being a Card Member. Explore the many ways American Express has your back here.

    Top image: Anwyn Howarth.

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