Canberra has a wide range of cafes and restaurants in the city centre, however if you are looking for a good brewery or pub to visit, you will find many of them tucked away in the outer suburbs of Canberra. Although the city has King O'Malley's Irish Pub, PJ's and the Civic Pub - which are all good traditional pubs - there are even more hidden gems to track down around the region. We all look for something different in a local watering hole - whether it is good pool tables, top pub grub, a wide range of beers or just somewhere that feels comfortable with the family, there is something for everyone in Canberra's local suburbs.
These ones listed below are my personal favourites, however, if you have one not mentioned here, please leave a comment at the top of this article and share your local tips. Pubs are like beers - you can never try too many!
Capital Brewing Co in Fyshwick. Image: Original photos from Capital Brewing Co Facebook
Capital Brewing Co would have to be my personal favourite brewery/ pub in Canberra - as it is completely unique. You can find it in the industrial suburb of Fyshwick, on the road to the Jerrabomberra Wetlands and amongst the car auction yards. It is an unusual location, however, they need the industrial space to house their large tanks to brew their beer. Capital Brewing Co has tables outside the venue, with Tahitian umbrellas and lawn games for people of all ages to play. When you walk inside, the huge tanks dominate the background, however to the left of the venue is the bar and to the right is a bright red food truck that has parked itself inside. This food truck sells huge Brodburgers, so you can enjoy a beer and burger together. Is there a better combo?
BentSpoke Brewery is another popular brewery in Canberra, however, this one is located in Braddon, just a short walk up from the city centre. There is a long bar downstairs and areas to sit, however if you want a cosy experience next to the tanks, then walk up the stairs and order lunch or snacks off their beer-matching menu. This area upstairs is more "gastropub" than traditional pub, and is a welcoming place to sit and relax and enjoy the experience. Choose between bar snacks, sharing plates and main meals - with all of them paired perfectly with a cold BentSpoke beer!
Sit upstairs, with plenty of tables for couples, families and groups...
English Pubs are a favourite of mine, as they remind me of stopping at quaint pubs in villages in England on my travels, to enjoy a cold ale and a hot Sunday roast. Here in Canberra there are two English pubs which fit the bill - the Durham Castle Arms in Kingston, with its dark and traditional interior and also the George Harcourt Inn in Gold Creek Village, complete with potty's hanging from the ceiling, large outdoor beer garden and faux Tudor architecture out the front. These two pubs are completely different, but both offer an English pub experience and are cosy in winter and pour a cold beer in summer!
Order a drink from the bar at the traditional Durham Castle Arms, Kingston
When my family and I first moved to Canberra, we were quite surprised to find there weren't as many pubs as other states that we had lived in. This may be due to the fact that the ACT was a "dry state" for 20 years when it was being built, however, there are new gastropubs and breweries opening up all the time. Whatever kind of pub, gastropub or brewery you visit in Canberra, it will still have that traditional warm pub welcome and tasty pub grub to match. Although the prices of beer seem to increase every time we try a new pub, we don't mind paying if it means we can enjoy the pub atmosphere and hospitality, that little bit longer.
Where do you think is Canberra's best brewery or pub?
The perfect pub grub - Chicken Parma and beer by the fireplace at George Harcourt Inn! Image: George Harcourt Inn Facebook