5 Beer gardens where you can chill and chat

One of the joys of summer in Australia is relaxing in a beer garden on a hot day, or a balmy night.

The Great Ocean Road has several exciting beer gardens that are part of establishments with great food – and even more impressive drinks lists.

Each one is a great option for a date, a family gathering, or a fun time with friends.

Here are some of my favourite beer gardens between Torquay and Port Fairy and what I think about their drinks list:

1. Last One Inn, Anglesea

Last One Inn really buzzes during summer and it’s famous for its cocktails. There’s a big variety of beers to chose from, plus wine and cocktails. It’s a great place to kick up your heels with live music and DJs. This is definitely the place to enjoy with a group of friends.

2. Aireys Pub, Aireys Inlet

Pub grub at its best! The Aireys Pub is known for whipping up hearty, rustic meals that go really well with their selection of Indian Pale Ales. The beer selection might be modest, but the beer garden is big! With coastal views and lush greenery; this outdoor space is THE place to meet friends on a hot summer’s afternoon and cool down with an ice cold ale.

3. Great Ocean Road Brewhouse, Apollo Bay

The Great Ocean Road Brewhouse has the best selection of Prickly Moses craft beer (made with rainwater that comes straight from the lush Otways rainforest). Outside, our dog-friendly beer garden has magnificent views of the Apollo Bay foreshore. The vibrant atmosphere of the beer garden (which is undercover with heaters in winter) goes up a notch on weekends when locals and visitors are treated to live music by quality performers. Our menu is family-friendly and you can eat in the bistro, or outside in the beer garden.

4. Merrijig Front Bar, Port Fairy

I’ve been visiting the Merrijig Front Bar for years. In summer, you can sip on one of their original cocktails whilst sitting in their beer garden under Port Fairy’s famous Norfolk Pines, and overlooking the beautiful Moyne River.  The wine list is carefully chosen to align with their flavorsome, rustic-style food. You’ll find an impressive mix of local, regional and international wines; mainly crafted by smaller producers who use sustainable practices. And, the beer and spirits menu is always changing, allowing you to try some exciting artisan liquor from around the world, too.

5. Apollo Bay Distillery

The Apollo Bay Distillery is in one of the town’s oldest buildings, with terrace views of the ocean (also the site of the recovered anchor from the shipwreck SS Casino). The gin is made on site (featuring local botanicals) and charmingly reference old folklore. They serve up craft beer, local wine and wood fired pizzas.

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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.