Time Out's picks for summery boozing in the great outdoors

The Alehouse Project

You'll find the same pebbled, statue- and tree-filled courtyard here from when this joint was the Comfortable Chair, but now there are specialty beers and American chicken wings to go with it. Brunswick East.

The Bishop of Ostia

When the sun sets, the Bishop takes over Pope Joan café's camo-net shaded courtyard, serving Cricketers beers and pig's ear sandwiches in the space where the kitchen's veggies grow. Brunswick East.

The City Tiler

Protected from industrial Port Melbourne by high vine-covered walls, this ornate converted courthouse has long, outdoor, candlelit tables, surrounded by palms and urns. Great for tapas, Argentinean brewskis and songs. Port Melbourne. 

Fitzroy Beer Garden

Gertrude Street's Sentido Funf has had a major overhaul and is now the Fitzroy Beer Garden. Thankfully the leafy beer garden is still there, but now so is a whole lot of absinthe, beers, DJs and a monthly market. Fitzroy.

Grub Food Van

Dogs, stripy parasols, garden beds and a shiny bullet of an Airsteam caravan combine with Lord Nelson Three Sheets ale and Tromba tequila-grapefruit refreshers. That's some good summery times right there. Fitzroy. 


We've been waiting for summer to make proper use of the leafy beer garden here that is twice the size of the bar. It is one of the only places on Smith Street for a cider in the sun. And the cider list is strong, including bottles from Harcourt, the whole Old Mout range and the crisp dry Napoleone pear and apple number from France. Fitzroy. 

Retreat Hotel

Who hasn't fallen asleep on the Retreat's Astroturf? Or been kicked out for attempting to climb into the welcoming boughs of that fairy light festooned tree? Cheap jugs of Brunswick Bitter and sunny afternoons make said antics inevitable. Brunswick.

The Standard

With live music or trivia most nights of the week, the Standard is your classic Fitzroy pub. What sets it apart is its beer garden: a well-loved concrete jungle that is always packed. Fitzroy.

Village Brasserie

If size matters, this sprawling beer garden (formerly known as the Belgian Beer Café Bluestone) trumps all. Tree-lined and the size of a football pitch, it's more park than beer garden, albeit one stocking a hell of a lot of local and global craft brews. Commandeer a table or lay out beneath the elm trees. Melbourne.

The Wesley Anne

The Wesley Anne is renowned for its Gothic interior but the leafy beer garden is where it's at. Battle the band-geeks and hipsters and pitch camp with a pitcher. Northcote.

Windsor Castle Hotel

Yes, it's a meat market, but the tiki-tastic courtyard of the Windsor Castle is one of the better places to sweat it out in summer swelter, surrounded by bamboo, and bronzed biceps. Windsor.


First published on . Updated on .

By Stephen Russell   |   Photos by Sean Fennessy

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