I am a writing Novelist from Austria - www.bettinabuechel.com/entangled_souls.asp - I am living in South Australia since December 2010 and enjoy it a lot. Besides this I look after a small vineyard - www.lot333wines.com.au
Published September 25th 2012
When we started to travel throughout Australia, we were surprised by the huge amount of hotels, which are located all over the continent. Something new and special for us, because in our home country Austria this type of gastronomy is not common at all. The large and magnificent hotels that can be found in even the smallest towns are an undisputed trademark of Australia.
In many cases, the hotels were the first structures in a newly settled area (especially on the goldfields). Nowadays, most of these ancient hotels are no longer used as an accommodation option, but only as a pub (the Aussie pubs). In the cities, but especially in the rural areas they still have a high social value.
Most Australian pubs are distinguished by the simplicity of the selection of beverages, namely beer (comes first), wine and mixed drinks. Typical pubs offer about 5 local beers on tap and an additional 10 local and imported beers. The beer is served in different sizes (Middy, Schooner, Pint and Jug). Also, the wine selection is mostly focused on Australian wines.
The classic pub menus are probably found everywhere, such as burgers, fries, pizza, and do not forget the Salt & Pepper Squids. However, many hotel pubs under a new management offer an excellent kitchen, like The Seven Stars (CBD), The Victory Hotel (Sellicks Beach) and many more. The chefs are very creative and you can also dine fine and at a reasonable price in a pub.
Most pubs offer from 5pm to 6pm during the working week their "Happy Hour". In this hour the drinks (especially beers) are usually lowered in price. If you want to know how the term "Happy Hour" has arisen, here is the explanation. Previously the pubs had to close their doors at 6pm. Therefore, all workers went after work at 5pm into the pubs to drink as much as possible alcohol before closing time (the so called six o'clock swill) – FUNNY, isn't it.
Gambling and betting are also important components of Australian pub culture. In most pubs pokies are in separate rooms available, which are well attended, as our slot machines in the casinos. In addition, in some pubs you can bet on horse and dog races and get your profits directly from there.
If we pass a large veranda with a cheerful atmosphere in an Australian city or in the country, we sometimes stop and take part in the cultural life of the Aussies. Here you will discover the soul of a city. It is the place where the beer is drunk cold and the yarns are spun. It's worth it.
Well Sail and Anchor in Fremantle easily takes the cake for best beer venue. Heaps of local and international craft beer on tap, with not much of that mainstream rubbish that dominates every other pub.
Clancys also has a fantastic craft beer list and is hugely successful - 4 locations now :)
The Shakespeare Hotel in Surry Hill has been a traditon for decades for its award winning pub food and tatty old look. If they updated the place, it would no longer be the heart warming 'Shakey' as all Sydney siders know it to be.