10 of the best beer gardens to celebrate Australia Day

The tradition of the 'beer garden' is strong in Australia, though these days it's something of a misnomer.

Cocktails, spritzes, wines and ciders are just as likely to be consumed by Aussies in pubs this long weekend, in an increasingly diverse array of outdoor areas.

Where there's no smoke

Publican Steve Jeffares, of The Local Taphouse in St Kilda, says the nationwide introduction of indoor smoking bans has been a boon for al fresco drinking.

"There are more roof terraces and beer gardens than we've ever seen before," he says.

Jeffares' other venture, Collingwood brewery Stomping Ground, has recently introduced a beer garden to previously uncharted territory, that of Melbourne Airport.

Flight facilities

Stomping Ground Terminal 3 1/2 is open until April 3, 2018 in the outdoor area between Terminal 3 and 4. There are ten taps of Victorian beer and cider, along with deck chairs on a lawn area where travellers can watch the Australian Open Tennis and other sporting fixtures.

"We've been open for four weeks and the feedback has been absolutely amazing. To date I don't think we've seen anything but effusive praise for the idea of bringing good food, good coffee and good beer to Melbourne Airport," Jeffares says.

"There's about 13,000 people who work at the airport, that's probably one of our biggest customer bases. Then we've got people who are coming early to the airport, people whose flights are delayed and people who are transiting through. It's a very eclectic customer base."

Divine intervention

Also new in Victoria, and on a permanent basis, is St Andrews Beach Brewery on the Mornington Peninsula.

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The impressive hospitality venue is set on a 92-acre property that was formerly home to one of Australia's premier horse training facilities, owned by renowned trainers the Freedman brothers.

The stables that were once home to racehorses including Makybe Diva which have been converted into sitting areas adjoining the substantial beer garden, which St Andrews' Tim Purchase predicts will be popular over the coming long weekend.

"The weather's looking good, so people will be able to go down the beach and then come join us in the arvo," he says.

Check out our selection of the country's best beer gardens in which to spend the Australia Day long weekend.