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Where is the Best Beer Garden in Melbourne?

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Writer's Answer:
by Michaelie Clark (subscribe)
Pun-loving freelance writer based in Victoria.
Published September 14th 2011
There are a few things Melburnians do well: we are good at inching our way slowly forward at traffic lights in a slightly coy and thoroughly ineffectual and impatient manner; we are adept at always dressing by the rule that black is the new black; and most of all, we are absolute experts at making the most of fine weather – fleeting as it often is.

Belgian Beer Cafe Bluestone
Belgian Beer Cafe Bluestone

So with a hot summer purportedly on its way, there's no doubt that the city's inhabitants will be flocking to some of the best beer gardens, rooftop bars and courtyards that Melbourne has to offer. Here are a few that get the hordes in when the sun is out:

Belgian Beer Café Bluestone
It's surely the largest and definitely one of the best. Located on St Kilda Road, this garden is crammed with revellers on summer afternoons and is fit out with benches, marquees and outdoor bars, allowing patrons to relax in the sun while having a drink and listening to live music.

The Flying Duck
Large and leafy, this beer garden goes right around the back of the pub's glass atrium and is filled with long wooden tables and benches perfect for a summer get-together with friends. Just watch out for the possums.

The Flying Duck
Creeping Possum at The Flying Duck

The Windsor Castle
A bit at odds with the quirky interior décor and the flying pigs on the roof, this beer garden has a strangely tropical vibe. Nevertheless, it overflows with partygoers on warm nights and has a very fun and lively atmosphere. If you go here looking for dinner though, try to get in early before you're forced to stab someone with a fork for cramping your style while you're trying to tuck in to your roasted pork belly.

The Prahran Hotel
Not a huge garden, but a very interesting courtyard – split into two parts, the outdoor area has an undercover section that incorporates some of the pub's art deco theme, which flows through the open side into a paved area lined with stools and tables and leafy plants.

The Prahran Hotel
The Prahran Hotel

It's not a beer garden as such, but offers great outdoor drinking by the banks of the river on Federation Wharf. Melburnians can often be found here during summer doing another thing they are good at – disparaging the Yarra.

The Malvern Hotel
An intimate little beer garden with full table service and a couple of private nooks for those who want a quiet and shady spot to have a sip in summer.

The Malvern Hotel
The Malvern Hotel

With a beer garden located at the front of the establishment and not the back, this bar allows patrons to watch all the weird and wonderful goings-on of St Kilda with drink in hand from a front row pew.

Where is your favourite place in Melbourne to have a few drinks and make merry when the weather is warm?
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Having pondered, the Belgian Beer garden is a good one. Like the photos too.
By Jody Kimber - senior reviewer
Thursday, 15th of September @ 09:48 am
The best Beer Garden in Melbourne is Precinct, Richmond. It has a huge area, outdoor bar, tv screens for sports and when the weather cools, a retractable roof and heaters.
By jlarr - reader
Friday, 16th of September @ 04:25 am
I have to agree, the Belgian Beer Garden is an amazing place to drain a few beverages.

I'm heading to the Richmond Club Hotel this weekend which has recently been refurbished with a beer garden on the roof over looking Melbourne. I'll report back with some details.
By Kallen Johnstone - senior reviewer
Friday, 16th of September @ 06:21 am
I know a great one in Sydney that does the best surf and turf. Im not sure about Melbourne. Perth do good beer or outdoor areas. (Perth have smoke free outdoor eating too now.)
By Jody Kimber - senior reviewer
Thursday, 15th of September @ 09:24 am
By scoll0 - reader
Friday, 16th of September @ 10:25 am
I can't believe nobody's mentioned The Standard in Fitzroy yet! Great atmosphere, expansive, shady on those hot days... food's not awesome but it's pretty honest pub grub.
By jayra - reader
Thursday, 22nd of September @ 12:19 am
The Retreat in Brunswick is an awesome beer garden. It is quite large and has an area for eating as well as an area for general socialising. It caters for all types who love a cruisy experience. Great food and great music.
By kylie - reader
Thursday, 10th of November @ 03:08 am
How about the College Lawns Beergarden- Pritty impressive
By Anonymous
Tuesday, 28th of February @ 07:17 am
Easy- College Lawn Hotel!!!
By Anonymous
Saturday, 6th of October @ 11:10 am

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