Best Places For a Drink – Bar None

Relaxing on a balmy Queensland afternoon with a cool, refreshing beverage in hand is one of life’s simple pleasures. The combination of plentiful balmy afternoons enjoyed in our aptly named ‘Sunshine State’ and the bevy of watering holes at the ready to pour you a glass of your tipple of choice and there’s little wonder this simplistic act is a favourite Australian pastime.

Touted as a nation of beer-guzzlers, there’s certainly no denying most Australians enjoy a cold alcoholic beverage, however the scene around bars in Brisbane, Gold Coast bars and the local bars at the Sunshine Coast is evolving with sophisticated plethora of ways to quench your thirst. So does our drinking culture still actually deserve a bad rap? The team at functionbook™ check out how Brisbane’s local bar scene is progressing?

The History of Our Beer Swilling Nation

  • Back in the day, Captain James Cook had the Endeavour well stocked with 250 barrels of beer, 44 barrels of brandy and 17 barrels of rum.
  • Australia’s most famous drinking record was set in 1955 by former Australian Prime Minister Robert (Bob) Hawke who drank 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds as a student at University College in Oxford.
    Mr Hawke later suggested that this was the reason for his great political success.
  • It could be argued that we are more of a ‘rum’ nation (rum was Australia’s first currency after all). Back in the 19th century when physical consumption of our first currency resulted in a growing number of drunkards, beer was promoted as a healthier safer alternative and just like that, Australia’s love of the golden-beverage was born.
  • Despite these events contributing to our nation’s reputation, recent statistics indicate the average Australian’s alcohol consumption has decreased.
Best Bars in Brisbane

Our Evolving Local Bar Scene

As one of the world’s most urbanised coastal dwelling populations, there’s something to be said for quenching one’s hard-earned thirst with water views as a way of pushing the ‘reset’ button after a hard day at work or simply keeping a good night rolling.

Bars in Brisbane offer some stunning views of the Brisbane river, especially around Southbank on the weekends where it is easy to find a Southbank bar to while your afternoon away. If that’s not your cup of Long Island Iced Tea, Brisbane is becoming known for its trendy rooftop bars and quirky hidden laneway bars.

There has been a shift in the Gold Coast bar scene within the last few years with new bars adding to the ever-popular surf-clubs and sports bars dotted along the 52 kilometre coastline. With the addition of more Euro-style bars that can hold their own against the major cities, there’s a growing list of great bars on the Gold Coast where you can whet your whistle while letting your hair down – ocean views optional.

Locals will argue that there’s always been a great selection of bars on the Sunshine Coast and this has certainly never been more true today. With taverns, craft breweries, piano bars and watering holes dating back to the 1800’s whether you fancy a quiet post-work beverage or some weekend bar-hopping, Sunshine Coast bars will not disappoint.

Consumers are more aware than ever of exactly which beverage they wish to whet their palette with and how they like it served, so there’s growing focus on hospitality and service over and above what/how their drink is poured into the glass. With more discerning customers, there’s also a growing number of bars paying homage to particular types of alcohol evidenced by the growing number of wine and whisky bars and gastropubs.

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What Australians Prefer To Drink

Ireland has Guinness, Italy grappa, Japan sake, Mexico tequila and Australia has beer right? Beer makes up roughly half of our nations alcoholic beverage consumption, with wine coming in second at about 30%.

Today, when it comes to all things alcoholic, we are spoilt for choice. Between local and top-shelf brews, local and imported wines and bespoke cocktails that will titillate even the most discerning tastebuds, it would appear our national drink of choice is certainly a cold lager however there is strong consumption in other categories not to be mocked especially wine, of which Australia annually produces over a billion litres and is the fourth largest exporter of wine globally. Not bad for a nation of beer-drinkers!


Shaken & Not Stirred

With the beverage industry constantly changing, it is difficult to stay on top of trends so bars need to be innovative to stay relevant and compete for some of the $14 billion Australians spend on alcohol each year.

Just like the food industry, consumers are more aware of what they’re consuming and are demanding more fresh and local produce which is being used to add depth and intrigue to the average beverage with a renewed focus on healthier organic options.

There’s also a growing trend and demand for mixologists, renowned as the professionals of the industry, to have a commanding knowledge of spirits and to be able to use that knowledge to pair flavours to create an extraordinary drink.


Bars With a Difference

New beverage trends can be exciting and we’re excited about the growing worldwide trend in coffee-infused cocktails and dry-hopped coffee on nitro tap. Most people love coffee and a tipple so combining the two seems like a winning combo.

Just as exciting can be a change in your bar experience and there’s a few new concepts being adopted by some of the bars in our part of the world.

We’re all familiar with the notion of the BYO restaurant however some Brisbane bars have done the ol’ switcheroo and are welcoming patrons to bring their own food while consuming drinks at their establishment.

Tablets and iPads may signal the end of having to yell your order to the barperson across a packed bar with some of the more tech-savvy establishments now offering tablet ordering systems. No need to get up – you can go so far as requesting the number of ice-cubes you prefer and the barperson will deliver it to your table exactly as ordered.

Like the idea of activity-drinking other than pool or gaming? There are some funky new bar concepts opening with indoor mini golf and ten-pin bowling two examples of an activity made that much more fun with the addition of a bevvy or two.

While wine connoisseurs (aka cork-dorks) have traditionally had a hankering for knowledge about the wine they are consuming, one bar in Brisbane is taking this to another level, not only stating on the menu the region where the wine came from but exactly how many kilometres away the fermentation process took place.

Bars are seeking new and innovative ways to stand out from the crowd and extend their service offering to attract new punters which is great news for both locals and visitors alike. The down-side? Finding time to visit all these great new bars but using functionbook™ will help you narrow down your options so problem solved. Now go forth and get your drink on.

Best Brisbane Bars
Best Bars gold Coast
Best Bars Ssnshine Coast

6 Fun Facts You May Not Know About Alcohol

Nearly half the world’s population over the age of 15 claims to have never consumed alcohol.

Studies suggest that people with blue eyes have a higher alcohol tolerance.

Brisbane’s XXXX brewery got its name from the long-standing tradition of using X’s to indicate the strength of an ale.

Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty glass.

In Russia, beer was not considered an alcoholic beverage until 2013.

During the late 19th century, millions of schools in America told children that a sip of alcohol could lead to blindness, madness and even spontaneous combustion.