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Published March 21st 2018
If you love to relax at a pub on the weekend, you are sure to love a good old' Aussie beer garden - it is often the best part of the whole pub! When the sun is beating down, there is no better place to enjoy a cold beer than in the speckled shade of a beer garden. Even when the temperatures drop to single digits in winter - it is the ideal place to sit and soak up the sun, or warm up by a fire, surrounded by friends in the outdoors. Here in Canberra there are a number of beer gardens dotted around the city and suburbs, to enjoy this Sunday afternoon ritual. These are just a handful of the best ones that we have found, however if you have a favourite spot not mentioned here, please leave a comment at the top of this article and share your local tip. Whether it is in Canberra, Queanbeyan or even further over the border into NSW, a good beer garden is worth tracking down!
Which one will you be relaxing in this weekend?
Sunday afternoon at the Lighthouse Pub beer garden. Image: Lighthouse Pub Facebook
Lighthouse Pub in Belconnen has a popular, shady beer garden which overlooks a small inlet of Lake Ginninderra. The V-shaped outdoor area is fairly spacious, with enough tables to fit a number of large groups, families and couples, without everyone feeling too close together. Every Sunday afternoon there is a happy, social atmosphere with live music from 12pm and a full menu to have lunch or snacks by the Lake Ginninderra waterside. Enjoy a pizza, grab a burger or share a 1-kilogram bowl of buffalo wings with hot sauce and make an afternoon of it! See here for details. For meal deals during the week, check out their Facebook.
George Harcourt Inn is a traditional English pub located in Gold Creek Village in Nicholls, north of the city. It is a handy place for a pub, as it is walking distance from the National Dinosaur Museum, Cockington Green Gardens, the Canberra Walk-In Aviary and other tourist attractions in the area. This is easily the biggest and most popular beer garden in Canberra, with the added attraction of live music each Friday night and Sunday afternoon. If you're English, or have been to England, it feels like a familiar place to walk into, with a fireplace, dark panelling and Bangers and Mash on the menu. If you have kids with you, they will enjoy having a little run around on the small grassy hills surrounding the pub. See here for details.
Enjoy a cold drink as the sun goes down, at George Harcourt Inn. Image: George Harcourt Inn Facebook
Hopscotch is a popular gastro pub on the busy Lonsdale Street in Braddon. It is a particularly popular in the evenings for dinner and a few drinks to catch up with friends - so don't be surprised to find a queue to get in on a Saturday night! Their beer garden is out the front of the venue, so you can watch the action on the street, whilst enjoying the party atmosphere all around. If you visit in summer there are misting fans outside to cool you down and in winter you may need to jostle to get near a heater, while listening to live music or DJ's. This beer garden is louder than the other options when it gets busy, so check it out if you are after a lively night on the town! See here for details.
Hopscotch beer garden - a popular venue for weekend drinks. Image: Hopscotch website
Rose Cottage is a completely different kind of pub to the ones above, as it has a rustic vibe and a historical feel to it. It is based around two historical buildings that date back to the late 1800's, so you need to duck down to walk through the doorway to get to the bar. This pub has a variety of different areas to sit in around the beer garden, so groups of friends can have private areas to themselves. Rose Cottage also has live music each weekend - see the Rose Cottage Facebook for this weeks line-up. This pub is a popular, rustic pub on the south side of Canberra, but if you live on the north side and looking or a similar pub, then visit the Old Canberra Inn in Lyneham, for even more history and character.
The historical Rose Cottage, south of Canberra city. Image: Rose Garden Facebook
All of these pubs or gastro pubs have their own unique character, atmosphere and reason to visit, all year around. Whether it is the food, the price of the drinks, the location, the friendliness of the staff or just that you can easily spend hours there feeling like you don't have to move, everyone will have a favourite around the city and region. When you find one you love, you keep going back again and again until it becomes as comfortable as an old boot. When you get to that point, congratulations - you have officially found your "local"!
Why not take a country drive to the Royal Hotel in Bungendore and be a local for a day in their beer garden! Image: Royal Hotel Bungendore Facebook