5 BEER GARDENS WHERE YOU CAN CHILL AND CHATby SUZIE VERMEULEN
One of the joys of summer in Australia is relaxing in a beer garden on a hot day, or a balmy night.
The Great Ocean Road has several exciting beer gardens that are part of establishments with great food - and even more impressive drinks lists.
Each one is a great option for a date, a family gathering, or a fun time with friends.
Here are some of my favourite beer gardens between Torquay and Port Fairy and what I think about their drinks list:
1. Bomboras, Torquay
Bomboras really buzzes during summer and it's famous for its pizzas. There's a big variety of craft beers to chose from, plus wine and cocktails. It's a great place to kick up your heels; with a very cool rooftop bar with ocean views, live music and DJs. This is definitely the place to go out with a group of friends and party on a hot summer night.
- Here's a guide to Torquay.
2. Aireys Pub, Aireys Inlet
Pub grub at it's best! The Aireys Pub is known for whipping up hearty, rustic meals that go really well with their selection of Indian Pale Ales. The beer selection might be modest, but the beer garden is big! With coastal views and lush greenery; this outdoor space is THE place to meet friends on a hot summer's afternoon and cool down with an ice cold ale.
- Find out more about Aireys Inlet.
3. Great Ocean Road Brewhouse, Apollo Bay
The Great Ocean Road Brewhouse has the best selection of Prickly Moses craft beer (made with rainwater that comes straight from the lush Otways rainforest). Outside, our dog-friendly beer garden has magnificent views of the Apollo Bay foreshore. The vibrant atmosphere of the beer garden (which is undercover with heaters in winter) goes up a notch on weekends when locals and visitors are treated to live music by quality performers. Our menu is family-friendly and you can eat in the bistro, or outside in the beer garden.
- Find more dog-friendly places
4. Merrijig Front Bar, Port Fairy
I've been visiting the Merrijig Front Bar for years. In summer, you can sip on one of their original cocktails whilst sitting in their beer garden under Port Fairy's famous Norfolk Pines, and overlooking the beautiful Moyne River. The wine list is carefully chosen to align with their flavorsome, rustic-style food. You'll find an impressive mix of local, regional and international wines; mainly crafted by smaller producers who use sustainable practices. And, the beer and spirits menu is always changing, allowing you to try some exciting artisan liquor from around the world, too.
- Eat and drink in Port Fairy
5. Apollo Bay Distillery
Set to open in February 2020, this distillery is in one of the town's oldest buildings, with terrace views of the ocean (also the site of the recovered anchor from the shipwreck SS Casino). The gin is made on site (featuring local botanicals) and charmingly reference old folklore. They'll serve up craft beer, local wine and wood fired pizzas. You'll also be able to take home fresh coffee, roasted on site with Hello Coffee.
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