Away from the spotlight that shines so brightly on the hospitality scene in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, pubs in Adelaide have been left to develop their own identity, quietly amassing a swathe of excellent venues that cater for all manner of nights out. Whether in the heart of the metropolis, or a weekend retreat away from the city, the drink-slingers in and around the southern capital have carefully curated their approaches to drinking, dining and generally letting loose. Together with our mates at Hahn Brewers, we've come up with a guide to the pubs of Adelaide. Whether you're after a beer garden, a party, a drink by the water or a trivia night, we've got you covered.
FOR A BEER GARDEN: ALMA TAVERN, NORWOOD
There's a whole load on offer at the Alma Tavern, but the jewel in the crown for the Norwood venue is their spectacular beer garden. Set just below ground level, the outdoor area is peppered with comfy tables and chairs, lined with cushioned booths and adorned with festoon lighting and a few trees bringing a slice of the outdoors to the indoors. Just like the cultural identity of Australia, the Alma's menu includes influences from all around the world (get some orange and clove duck legs in your life). Grab a beer and sit out in the sunshine at the Alma — it's a foolproof beer garden option.
FOR AN EVENT: THE JADE MONKEY, ADELAIDE
The Jade has been around in one form or another for the last thirteen years, but its current home is at St Paul's Rectory in the heart of the city. It has always been a hub of local live music and a great place for a beer, but now it also hosts a wide array of events. Stop by on a sunny afternoon and you might find a music festival is going on. If not, there could be a pop-up cinema, a vinyl sale or a songwriting class. If whatever event is on at the time doesn't take your fancy, you can settle back in the garden with a beer for the afternoon and enjoy the peaceful surrounds.
FOR TRIVIA: THE EDINBURGH CASTLE, ADELAIDE
The Edinburgh Castle has become locally famous for its themed trivia nights. Many are television-based, with previous trivia topics being Friends, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Seinfeld, The Simpsons and Breaking Bad. Trivia nights happen inside the venue, but you should stick around afterwards (or you could come a little early) and grab a beer in the Castle's huge beer garden. Food options are classic pub grub and there's a huge $10 section on the menu.
FOR A PARTY: PALAIS HOTEL, SEMAPHORE
It's all well and good to head to a venue for a cheeky brew and a delicious feed. It's nice to soak in a good view and relax with some chilled beats. But, at the end of a hard week, or any other occasion you might fancy, sometimes you've just got to get dressed up and get down. The Palais Hotel is perfectly set up for mad parties, with multiple bars, an extensive drinks list and plenty of space by the beach. DJs play almost every night at the Palais, and their Australia Day and New Year's Eve parties are legendary.
FOR A BEER BY THE WATER: RAMSGATE HOTEL, HENLEY BEACH
Australians harbour a deep love for the ocean. We also love a good drink, so the ultimate combo is when the two meet in absolute glory — the beachside pub. The Ramsgate Hotel is a great pub simply because of its relaxed atmosphere and its proximity to the beautiful Henley Beach. When you're done visiting the churches and vineyards that populate Adelaide, there aren't many better things to do than enjoy a cold beer while watching the sun go down at the Ramsgate.
FOR A ROAD TRIP: VICTORY HOTEL, SELLICKS HILL
When the crushing hubbub of metropolitan mayhem becomes a little too much, there's nothing like escaping to the country for a quick recharge. If that's your go, the Victory Hotel have got you covered. The B&B sits atop Sellicks Hill and has magnificent views over Sellicks Beach and even into a bit of wine country. The menu is top-notch, but it's the wine cellar that truly takes the cake. Pair that with a couple of beers, a good feed and some darling cottages available for guests, and it's clear that an escape to the Victory is a real winner.
FOR A BRITISH FEED: FOX & FIRKIN, TEA TREE GULLY
Pubs, as we know them in this country, are largely thanks to the great British tradition of sinking ales and demolishing deliciously rich and filling combinations of meat, veg and carbs. Perfect. A decent British menu, however, can be a bit hard to come by, so places that keep the tradition alive are hidden gems to be revered. Fox & Firkin is a little out of town, but the food is definitely worth the trip. The menu includes British classics like Welsh rarebit or the beef and Guinness pie (complete with mushy peas), while also maintaining Aussie pub classics like burgers, seafood platters and the schnitzels that betray the hidden Germanic roots of the British Isles.
FOR THE GAME: ARKABA, FULLARTON
The Arkaba Hotel provides a great experience if you're into sport. It's the home of Sportys Bar and Arena, one of the premier sporting bars in town. The local Sportys takes their sport seriously, setting up the entire bar as an homage to spectating physical activity. There are plenty of TVs, tonnes of room and the bar is fitted out with all the knick knacks and wood panelling that is the stuff of man cave dreams. If you're after AFL, football or a good sport like rugby, Sportys has got it all.
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