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The beer hall at the Ascot Lot. Several people sitting at tables having a drink.
Photograph: Supplied/The Lot

The best beer gardens in Melbourne

Enjoy some fresh air and a cold pint while soaking up the sun in these spacious beer gardens

Written by
Time Out editors
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In our humble opinion, there's no better way to enjoy a beer in the warmer months than in a beer garden while shaded by an umbrella or some greenery. Melbourne has heaps of them, and while they may serve different cuisines and some may specialise in craft beers while others carry the classics, they all have one thing in common: they're the perfect place to spend a balmy afternoon.

While we're talking booze, be sure to check out our favourite cocktail bars, wine bars and rooftop bars.  

Melbourne beer gardens we love

Robert Burns Hotel
  • Restaurants
  • Collingwood

This massive pub boasts a huge indoor seating area as well as a beer garden out the back. Order a frothy pint and a meal off the menu, which is filled with classic Australian pub fare, and mosey on out to the back to enjoy some fresh air. 

  • Restaurants
  • Food trucks
  • Ascot Vale

The Ascot Lot boasts the biggest beer garden in the northwest. The space has been transformed from a vacant car lot into a cheery and pastel-painted space complete with picnic tables, timber stools, fake grass and brick booths. You'll usually find at least a couple of food trucks parked here that are ready to serve you a mean feed. The entire venue is pooch-friendly, so feel free to bring your four-legged friend along too. 

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Carwyn Cellars
  • Bars
  • Craft beer
  • Thornbury

Ben Carwyn’s eponymous Thornbury bottle shop is a pilgrimage all beer enthusiasts must take, no matter what part of the city they hail from. The front half of the shop operates as a  bottle-o with an incredible selection, and just beyond the fridge doors is a bar with 28 beer taps pouring the best suds around. Head out back to the 60-seat beer garden featuring its own outdoor bar with around four to five beers on tap.

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Fitzroy
  • price 1 of 4

The Shady Lady is like your grandma’s house, if your grandma’s a bit of a fabulous alcoholic. Think orange tassel-covered lampshades, blue painted brick, a leather-wrapped bar, disco balls and velour, cabaret curtains. Delightful. The beer garden out the back is on the smaller side, but it still has plenty of seating. In the warmer months, you may even walk out back to find an inflatable pool. 

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  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Collingwood

This Collingwood warehouse brewery pub is a favourite inner north summer drinking spot that attracts patrons from all walks of life. You'll find parents and prams sharing the sun-drenched beer garden with young couples and friends. You can even watch as beers get brewed by peeking through the glass walls. 

Brunswick Green
  • Bars
  • Brunswick
  • price 1 of 4

Brunswick Green is like a nicer version of your favourite local pub. It's humble, with a drinks list featuring affordable beers and wines by the glass, and the indoor area looks rather tight at first. But as you make your way towards the back, you'll find a huge booths and an indoor lounge area that lead to an even more massive beer garden with its own small outdoor bar.

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  • Bars
  • Fitzroy
  • price 1 of 4

Known as the 'Rochey' to regulars, this Fitzroy pub is dog-friendly and has a sizeable beer garden out back. The brick walls surrounding it are covered with street art by local artists, and there's heaps of greenery. Order your drinks and meals at the indoor bar then grab a seat. 

The National Hotel
  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • Richmond

Head past what could be Melbourne’s longest bar to the rear courtyard, slung with lanterns and perpetually full of hip young drinkers and their busy toddlers. The tap beer selection is as minimalist as the walls, but they offer a few gems by the bottle including Hawthorne Pilsner and Bridgeport IPA.

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  • Bars
  • Melbourne

Natural light pours from above into the central atrium of this four-level Flinders Lane bar, where trees, lit up with fairy lights, give the space a greenhouse atmosphere. Beers like Fat Yak, Peroni and McCracken’s are available, but we recommend you take advantage of Garden State’s excellent wine list.

Le Bon Ton
  • Restaurants
  • Collingwood
  • price 1 of 4

This Collingwood smokehouse is complete with a tasty barbecue menu, heaps of beers and bourbons to choose from and a beer garden with twinkling fairy lights. 

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The Palace Hotel
  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • South Melbourne
  • price 2 of 4

Not only do they have a cracking craft beer list at this South Melbourne pub, they have a mascot dog – Billy the staffie - and a courtyard that's open to your own hairy pals. 

Retreat Hotel
  • Bars
  • Brunswick

Who hasn't fallen asleep on the Retreat's Astroturf? Or been kicked out for attempting to climb into the welcoming boughs of that fairy light festooned tree? Cheap jugs of Brunswick Bitter and sunny afternoons make said antics inevitable.

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Fitzroy Beer Garden
  • Bars
  • Fitzroy

While you may think most beer gardens specialise in serving up ales, this leafy joint has a massive and delicious cocktail menu that heavily features native bush ingredients. Order a cocktail jug to split with friends and grab a table in the garden out the back.

Terminus Hotel: Abbotsford
  • Bars
  • Abbotsford

You’ve got five brightly tiled bar areas, spread around a jungle-y rope-festooned courtyard complete with a balcony. Big angular struts cut through the place like bamboo, and inside, copper beer tanks are holding Melbourne’s freshest Carlton Draught, pumped in direct from the nearby brewery.

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The Wesley Anne
  • Bars
  • Northcote
  • price 1 of 4

The Wesley Anne is renowned for its Gothic interior but the leafy beer garden is where it's at. There are heaps of tables but they're popular, so you may have to battle the hipsters for a spot and pitch camp with a pitcher while waiting for friends.

More outdoor drinking in Melbourne

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