Top picks: Geelong pub guide

There’s a drinking hole for all occasions. Cheers!

AFTER WORK DRINKS

Sandwiched between the city and the waterfront – so you can quickly leave work and let your hair down – is Edge. This place is made for mingling. It spills from indoors to out over al fresco decks that rock views of Corio Bay. A solid menu includes plenty of shareable, snacky options and they’re good with a cocktail too.

A BIRTHDAY DINNER

When the occasion calls for something special, head to Sawyers Arms Tavern in Newtown. There’s chicken parmi on the menu but this gastro pub leans more towards the likes of pork belly with celeriac, apple and cabbage remoulade, or baked scallops with cauliflower puree and crispy pancetta. Open since 1850, it’s recently had a stylish makeover that still retains its heritage vibe. The Elephant & Castle Hotel is another great choice, a long-standing corner pub (built 1879) with loads of art on the walls and renowned for its live music.

PRE OR POST FOOTY DRINKS, OR LIVE MUSIC

Barwon Club is just a block south from GMHBA Stadium making it ideal when you’re heading to a game, but it also ticks the box for live music. The legendary ‘Band Room’ heaves with hundreds of people when a gig’s on and it regularly hosts some top Australian and international acts.

ROOFTOP

Downstairs, Murphys is a classic cosy Irish pub with trivia, music, Guinness and Kilkenny but head upstairs and you’ll find a vibrant rooftop bar where the views stretch far, across Geelong and Corio Bay. It’s good whatever the weather, with retractable roof plus heating and cooling. Climb a little higher and you’ll reach the peaceful Skygarden.

FOR THE LOVE OF BEER

When you want to share the love, with communal tables and maybe a beer paddle or two, head to Malt Shovel Taphouse or Little Creatures Brewery.

Malt Shovel has a great beer garden while Little Creatures is set within an old red brick wool mill where you can sit inside or mingle outside in its colourful laneways.

FAMILY FRIENDLY

You’ll find your rock steady bar and bistro at Buckleys Entertainment Centre but key for families is its impressive play parlour, guaranteed keep the kids happy, whatever their age. There’s everything from foam climbing mounds, ramps and ropes to an 8-metre tower, theatrette and even a mini ninja warrior course, and the new Uncle Buck’s Ice-Creamery has more topping options than you can wave a waffle cone at.

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