We're finally in the midst of summer and it's been an absolute cracker so far. While the beach is often the go-to destination for a day in the sun, if you're looking to stay closer to home (or the office) there's nothing better than a couple of cold ones at your local beer garden.
Melbourne is home to some of the best pubs and bars in the country and has plenty of cool beer gardens to match. To make sure you make the most of the warm summer weather, here are our picks when it comes to the best Melbourne beer gardens.
The Corner Hotel, Richmond
A Melbourne Institute, The Corner Hotel's rooftop beer garden underwent extensive renovations a few years back and the results are pretty incredible. What was once a cramped space has been turned into a multi-bar experience with ample seating and a large screen showing all major sporting events. The downstairs band room means you can have a couple froths on the roof before heading in and catching some tunes at one of Australia's best live music venues.
57 Swan Street, Richmond
The Standard, Fitzroy
Fitzroy is a haven for great pubs and bars and The Standard is certainly one of the area's best. Established in 1865 and located in the quirky backstreets of Melbourne's hipster capital, this old-school pub is known for its awesome beer garden. Better yet, its one of the few beer gardens you can enjoy all year long. The area features retractable roofing and heaters capable of keeping things warm during the winter or being stowed away in the summer so that you can catch some sun while you sip on cocktails.
293 Fitzroy Street, Fitzroy
Named after the legendary White Hart Stag (although that's also the lane it's found on), this CBD pub is one of Melbourne's only container bars. Made from a number of old shipping containers, Whitehart provides some pretty sweet views of the city in a boutique and welcoming locale. There's a rotating selection of food trucks every month and a drinks list that has something for everyone.
22 Whitehart Lane, Melbourne
The Great Northern, Carlton
Founded in 1883, The Great Northern houses one of Melbourne's oldest and largest beer gardens. There are multiple televisions and big screens on display so you can watch the Aussie's get done in the cricket while the list of beers on offer is thirst-inducing. The Great Northern also specialises in catering for functions and large events, and most importantly, is dog-friendly.
644 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North
The Boatbuilders Yard, South Wharf
While it might not fit the exact description of a beer garden, it's hard to leave this one off the list. The Boatbuilders Yard is a simply designed bar located on the precinct overlooking South Wharf. It boasts an extensive wine list and is host to some of the coolest events each month. Throughout January the bar turns into the Aperol Tennis Club in celebration of the Australian Open, with punters able to relax on deck chairs and sip $12 Aperol Spritzers while watching the tennis on multiple big screens.
23 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf
The Retreat, Brunswick
A personal favourite, The Retreat is the no-fuss Melbourne beer garden of your dreams. Inside, the front bar caters to an eclectic crowd of locals while bands perform in the backroom amidst pool tables and vintage arcade games. However, the real gem is the enormous backyard beer garden. There are plenty of tables and chairs as well as a bar to save you having to duck inside for a refill. Great for those balmy weekends with mates.
280 Sydney Road, Brunswick
Windsor Castle, Windsor
Tucked a few blocks in from Chapel Street, Windsor Castle is recognised for its great pub food, quirky interior (check out the elephants on the roof) and Tiki-inspired beer garden. The tropical-themed outdoor area is always packed on a weekend as DJs play a wide selection of tunes while punters take advantage of the ever-changing lineup of local and international beers on tap.
89 Albert Street, Windsor