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22° & CLOUDY ON THURSDAY 17 OCTOBER IN SYDNEY
By Concrete Playground
September 03, 2015
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The Best Beer Gardens in Sydney

Meet you out back for a bev and a bistro burger.
By Concrete Playground
September 03, 2015
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in partnership with

There's no shortage of venues in Sydney where you can enjoy a drink and simultaneously soak up the elements — we've been blessed with many top-notch beer gardens in our sunny city. The only way to fully show your appreciation is to try them all, so in partnership with Hahn Brewers, we've rounded up twelve of our favourites. From dog-friendly cantinas to fairy lights and lanterns, these Sydney bars sport seriously applaudable backyards. Grab a schooner, order up some slow-cooked barbecue and we'll meet you out back.

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THE NEWPORT

Overlooking idyllic Pittwater, The Newport has been operating since 1880. But gone are the days of the Daytona machines in the courtyard — Justin Hemmes has come in and breathed Merivale all over the place. Renovations finished up in March, so this summer will be the first major test of the beer garden — it's not hard to see them passing. With a pleasing mix of timber and stone, the outdoor area hovers somewhere between a chilled park and the sprawling gardens of Versailles. And with the Kiosk cafe serving brekky before the boozing begins, it's a top notch place to spend the day.

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THE GREENS

Lawn bowls are the perfect way to drink beer and pretend that you're exercising, just like darts, pool or golf. The Greens, rather than gutting their bowling greens in renovations, have stayed true to their roots as a leagues club and are keeping the dream alive of pretending to be an athlete while sinking schooners. Aside from lawn bowls, The Greens offers a beautiful courtyard with an incredible view from back over the bridge and Opera House. With a carefully curated collection of polished woods and shady shrubs, The Greens is a stellar spot to sling back a schooner and watch the sun dip below the horizon over the city.

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WATSON'S BAY BOUTIQUE HOTEL

Although the Watto has been a sanctuary by the sea for many thousands of years, the recent renovations and rebirth as The Watson's Bay Boutique Hotel have really brought the surrounds to life. The beer garden overlooks the bay where moored dinghies float lazily over the water. There's a sense of idyllic island life here — you'll kind of feel like you're on an isolated Cuban beach. The theme is reinforced by the fit-out in the garden, which features dulled pastels, driftwood and rustic furniture. With a cracking seafood menu to boot, it's hard to be left wanting at the Watto.

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THE SHEAF

Having long been the traditional home of Wednesday nights in the eastern suburbs, The Sheaf has also played host to the Sunday afternoon sunshine crowd for years. Mid last year, the venue gutted the old tiled yard and reinvented the space as a garden bar. Since then, the beer garden has gone from strength to strength, hosting acoustic acts on warmer afternoons and DJs at night. The stone paving and the slew of greenery that surrounds the joint creates a vibe of a secret garden, where is a better place to enjoy the sunshine?

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PUBLIC HOUSE PETERSHAM

The beer garden at Public House Petersham hosts a pleasing and eclectic mix of stained timber, ruddy bricks and bits of old shipping containers, and it all comes together to create a jumbled sense of homeliness. There's an air of secluded privacy, despite the fact that you're surrounded by other punters. The pub is the perfect place to throw back a beer — with the arcade games inside, you've got yourself a sunny afternoon sorted.

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THE BANK HOTEL

Since the beer garden renovations that included the construction of a South American grill, The Bank has become one of our favourite spots to spend a sunny weekend. The beer garden soaks up all the sun, yet provides ample shade and cover from the occasional sun shower because it's slightly below street level. The grill in the garden bar smells like heaven, and is the perfect accompaniment to a jug of beer.

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THE ERKO

The Erko has long remained an Erskineville institution. Cosy lounge chairs sit beside Pac-Man gaming tables and couches lines the breezy pub. The Erko's revamped beer garden is the best place to devour some killer barbecue from the smoker — including low and slow brisket and baby back ribs. At the Erko, you can really settle in for the long haul and to try every last item on the menu.

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THE HENSON

Geared toward cool kids and beer lovers, this pub is a home-run across the board in ambience, food and, most importantly, beer. The Henson's expansive, fairy-lit beer is a spacious place to down a few pints. Food-wise, the menu is a delicious combo of American classics and Asian specialities — try the mac and cheese, fish cakes or the Shio Ramen.

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THE OXFORD TAVERN

This once nudie bar is loaded with throwback, kitschy decorations. It's also a pool player's haven. The real draw at the Oxford is the beer garden though, which features live music, fairy lights and the girl worth crossing the city for, Black Betty BBQ. If you're not stuffed full of pulled pork and 'Dino Ribs' from Betty, the tavern's zany dessert menu includes deep-fried Golden Gaytimes  and the Jelly Wrestler — a mish-mosh of a sundae that is required to be eaten with gloves.

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THE COURTHOUSE

Popular with students, artists and the grizzly locals who've been frequenting it for the past forty years, The Courthouse is a beloved staple of Newtown's drinking spots. Grungy, relaxed and unpretentious, it features one of Sydney's finest beer gardens — so we have an unabashed devotion to this place. Grab a schooner and set yourself up for a drink under fairy light-clad trees. Be sure to snag a table early, these coveted benches really fill up, especially on weekends. During AFL season, expect not to be able to hold a conversation anywhere near the football-scarfed fans surrounding the televisions, so choose your spot wisely.

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THE NORFOLK

Wizard staffs made of tinnies in the trees, festoon lighting, pooches sitting happily amongst the chatter; the Norfolk's leafy backyard has become a haven for Surry Hills locals to kick back and have a drink after years of a tried and true formula. Dogs are more than welcome. You'll be hard pressed to find a seat during post-work hours, due to its Drink 'N' Dine menu of fried chicken burgers, fish tacos and Mexican street salads. But if you get in early, grab a jug of beer and sit yourself down to discover what all the fuss is about.

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THE BERESFORD

Popular with glamorous young things and the post-work crowd, Merivale's Beresford Hotel is one of Sydney's hippest beer garden pubs. Justin Hemmes has reinvigorated this space with fresh foliage and exceptional Italian bar food from Tuscan chef Gabriele Taddeucci. Perhaps the most lovely part of the whole venture is the courtyard, more reminiscent of a Japanese garden than your typical Aussie beer garden. Think cobblestones, Japanese maples, low wooden furniture and lanterns dangling above your head. The rule is to turn up early and stay late, perhaps ducking upstairs to check out a band while you're here.

Sign up to Hahn Brewers and sit back with a sunny beer garden schooner. 

Top Image: The Bank. 

Published on September 03, 2015 by Concrete Playground

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