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FOOD & DRINK

Nine Summery Courtyards for When You Want to Kick Off Cocktail Hour Before Dark

Take your pick from riverside bars to cosy pub gardens.
By Tamille Head
December 23, 2020
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Nine Summery Courtyards for When You Want to Kick Off Cocktail Hour Before Dark

Take your pick from riverside bars to cosy pub gardens.
By Tamille Head
December 23, 2020
  shares

NINE SUMMERY COURTYARDS FOR WHEN YOU WANT TO KICK OFF COCKTAIL HOUR BEFORE DARK

in partnership with

Take your pick from riverside bars to cosy pub gardens.

Things are looking up, Brisbane. Summer is just around the corner, and you know what that means: long, lazy afternoons spent drinking cocktails with your mates. Luckily, our pretty city has capitalised on places to drink outdoors in the form of copious beer gardens and courtyards, where you don't have to wait till the evening to kick things off. To give you some inspiration, we've teamed up with Maker's Mark to pin down the al fresco drinking spots where you can enjoy an old-fashioned, a whisky sour, or whatever refreshment takes your fancy while the sun still shines.

  • 9
    Friday's Riverside

    Chances are, if you’ve been living in Brisbane long enough, you’ve spent a Friday night at Friday’s. The riverside haunt is known for its late-night antics, but it’s equally as fun before dark, too. Offering unparalleled views of the Brisbane River, Friday’s makes for an easy spot to enjoy a cocktail as you watch the afternoon go by. Your only trouble will be making a selection from the extensive list — there’s a menu of classic cocktails (cosmopolitan, piña colada and whisky sours, to name a few) along with a separate selection of speciality cocktails. We suggest trying the Bourbon Old Fashioned, made with Maker’s Mark and bitters. As for eats, there’s an impressive menu of classic burgers and pizzas, or if you’re feeling like eating something a little lighter, try the salmon poke bowl.

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  • 8
    Cleveland Sands Hotel

    If you happen to find yourself east of Brisbane, an afternoon at Cleveland Sands Hotel certainly won’t disappoint. Overlooking the idyllic Raby Bay Harbour, the venue’s sprawling beer garden is made for summer afternoons spent with friends. But this isn’t just your average suburban hotel — its menu favours the classics with its own twists, like beer battered barramundi served with mushy peas and tartare, and the venue has a modern coastal-chic vibe. As for drinks, ask the bartenders to whip up a classic cocktail, like an old-fashioned or manhattan.

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  • 7

    For those times when you have several tastes to satisfy, Riverland should be your go-to. Positioned on Eagle Street Pier, overlooking the river (did the name give it away?), the venue made entirely from shipping containers is home to five separate food truck-style kitchens serving up the best authentic street food with flavours from around the globe. Think barbecue ribs, burgers, pizzas and wings. On the drinks list, the cocktails are mostly spritzes for $14, but we can’t go past a whisky sour to kick off an afternoon of fun in the sunshine. Simply ask for one made with Maker’s Mark.

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  • 6
    Bitter Suite

    It’s little wonder that New Farm locals flock to Bitter Suite on the regular. The charming bar, restaurant and cafe is bustling at all hours of the day for its homey vibe and delicious burger and pasta menu. Consider your summer afternoons sorted by pulling up a seat in the sunny courtyard as you watch the afternoon go by with a cocktail in hand and a prosciutto plate from the bar menu. The cocktails here are all $15, including the old-fashioned made with Maker’s Mark. Just a short stroll from the river and the Powerhouse, it makes for a convenient spot to enjoy a cool drink after a busy morning exploring New Farm.

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  • 5
    Canvas

    With an ethos of impeccable and personable service of only the finest food and drinks, Canvas Club delivers. Settle in at the Gabba’s most frequented courtyard for a selection of delicious cocktails (served at any time of day) and a menu made from only the finest, freshest ingredients. We’re talking rustic charcuterie and mezze boards, paired with a manhattan from the extensive cocktail list. What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon escaping the summer heat?

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  • 4

    The Wickham is somewhat of a Brisbane institution — and for good reason. A proud supporter and meeting place for the LGBTQIA+ community for decades, the venue’s relaxed beer garden was made for afternoon bevvies. Home to three restaurants and bars — The Garden Bar, Container Kitchen and The Corner Bar — the Valley pub touts everything from classic pub eats and Mexican-inspired fare (try the grilled chorizo quesadillas) to great cocktails, including our personal favourite, a whisky sour.

    Image: Grace Smith.

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  • 3
    Southbank Beer Garden

    What could be better than sitting back with a cold bevvy as you overlook South Bank’s iconic Street’s Beach on a sunny Brisbane arvo? For those times when a beer won’t cut it, and you’re in the mood for something a little stronger (and tastier), South Bank Beer Garden peddles a range of delicious cocktails. Ask for an old-fashioned made with Maker’s Mark and gain nods of approval from your mates. If you’re feeling peckish, tuck into classic pub fare like schnitzels, burgers and wings, or perhaps you’d prefer a garlic pizza bread to share?

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  • 2
    Osbourne Hotel

    The Osbourne is another one of those venues that’s a local favourite, evident by the heaving atmosphere in the beer garden on any day of the week. You’ll generally find a game on the big screen, or some live music, which sets the scene for an idyllic afternoon. Unwind and enjoy a bite to eat, from crab croquettes to the more substantial fried chicken burgers. Wash it all down with a classic cocktail or two.

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  • 1
    Blackbird Bar & Grill

    We’re spoiled for choice when it comes to riverside bars and restaurants here in Brisbane. It’s little wonder we’ve adopted the River City title. Perched in prime position on Eagle Street Pier, Blackbird Bar & Grill is up there with the fanciest of all. Taking inspiration from the opulence of the roaring 20s and prohibition era, the venue offers expansive 180-degree views of the river, and a cocktail menu that is equally as luxurious. Take your pick from the likes of a martini, americano, margartia, or old-fashioned.

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Find out more about Maker’s Mark and how to make an old-fashioned, here.

Top image: Anwyn Howarth

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