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FOOD & DRINK

Six Beer Gardens in Melbourne's Inner North You May Not Know About

Spend the long summer days outdoors — with a beer in hand.
By Concrete Playground and Tom Clift
February 01, 2018
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Six Beer Gardens in Melbourne's Inner North You May Not Know About

Spend the long summer days outdoors — with a beer in hand.
By Concrete Playground and Tom Clift
February 01, 2018
  shares

SIX BEER GARDENS IN MELBOURNE'S INNER NORTH YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT

Spend the long summer days outdoors — with a beer in hand.

With the end of Summer almost in sight, it's time to make the most of those long lazy afternoons. And what better way to do that than with a few cold drinks in a relaxed, comfortable outdoor setting — AKA, a lush beer garden. So we've rounded up the best lesser-known beer gardens in the inner north, where you can soak up some rays and brews this summer (without struggling to find a place to sit).

  • 7

    The Union Club Hotel is a Fitzroy stalwart. Walk into any of it’s rooms, any day of the week, and you’ll see a steady collection of loyal locals knocking back pots. While it’s a traditional Aussie pub, it has adapted to the times. It’s lineup of good pub grub (parmas, burgers and steaks) come with considered gluten-free and vegetarian alternatives (eggplant parma, felafel burger and Nepalese dahl). It’s walls are covered with music posters from yonder, but other walls adorn more recent street are, and the sprawling, heated beer garden downstairs is spotted with lush fig leafs. There’s another option for outdoor dining, too, a rooftop deck — perfect for sunlit after-work drinks.

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  • 6

    Temple Brewing Company, housed in an industrial stretch off the Brunswick end of Lygon Street, ticks plenty of boxes for craft beer lovers, and it holds a much broader appeal than other brewery bars you might have frequented. Sure, the decor is concrete-heavy. Sure, the view of shiny steel brewing equipment is used as a design feature. And sure, there’s beer — and plenty of it. But don’t expect your standard-issue pub grub or basic drinking snacks here. Instead, you’ll find a collection of considered, intelligent dishes (including a few beer-infused creations), each with a suggested pairing to one of Temple’s own tap brews. There’s an upstairs bar and function space for busy evenings and the front car-park area was transformed into an astro-turfed beer garden with sunny Sunday session written all over it. Yes, Temple’s a must-visit if you love a local craft brew — but don’t forget that there’s much more on offer here than just great beer.

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  • 5

    A mere 50 metres removed from the hustle and bustle of Brunswick Street, The Rainbow Hotel is local favourite. Their enormous undercover beer garden (complete with pool table) is a great place to while away a lazy afternoon — especially when you’re also ballooning on their delectable spicy buffalo wings with blue cheese sauce. If things get too chilly come nightfall, you can toast your outsides by the fireplace, while warming your insides with any of 100 different beers. A great live music lineup is the icing on the cake.

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  • 4

    Carlton is known for its poky little places. There are hundreds of small pizza joints with large men spruiking them and great cafes hidden down tight laneways — but people don’t talk much about its big sprawling pubs. The Great Northern is a pub for pub-lovers — the ones who like to watch the footy and really know their beers. Boasting 22 taps with a regular rotation of craft beers including Mountain Goat, 2 Brothers, Stone & Wood, and a selection from the ever-present Brooklyn Brewery, this is definitely the place to go for a pint. It’s outdoor deck is sprawling too, and it has its own outdoor bar and hosts a Sunday roast special. It’s also, along with the rest of the pub, dog-friendly. The pub is so pro-puppy that it has an Instagram account documenting the the pub loyal animal patrons, called the Dogs of the Great Northern Hotel.

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  • 3
    The Fitzroy Pinnacle

    It’ll take more than a little fire to shut down The Pinnacle. The iconic oddly-shaped Fitzroy North pub was put briefly out of action after a conflagration took out the ground floor in November 2015. They were back serving brews just a few months later, and got their new kitchen up and running in the back end of last year. Their new menu features a killer mix of pub classics and fancy fare. Frankly, you’d be hard pressed to find a better way to spend a summer arvo than chowing down on a parma, or a grilled kangaroo salad, in their sunny, welcoming beer garden.

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  • 2

    If you’re a fan of northside craft beer haven Carwyn Cellars, you’ll know that it renovated its expansive beer garden in late 2017 adding to the pub’s already popular charm. It’s Astroturfed, surrounded in light wood and has plenty of tables for those busier afternoons. Inside, the pub-cum-bottle shop has 20 rotating taps, which are mostly craft beers and always a negroni. The bottle shop is stocked with beer, too, and an extensive range of whisky (close to 300 different ones), local spirits and pre-batched cocktails. It’s your one-stop-shop for everything brown and boozy.

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  • 1
    Town Hall Hotel

    North Melbourne’s Town Hall Hotel is a charming old joint – a classic neighbourhood pub decked out with rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia, famous for its friendly staff and laidback vibe. The menu isn’t particularly adventurous, but the food itself is solid and the portions generous – plus they do a mean eggplant parma, if that’s your jam. Their much-loved beer garden is spacious, offers plenty of shade in the daytime, and is lit up with fairy lights (and is well-heated) at night.

    Top image: Tyler Kuulberg

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