Brisbane’s best bars for Happy Hour deals
Ritzy joints with cool cocktails? Rooftop venues with to-die-for views? Traditional pubs where it’s all about the beer and music? Whatever your taste, there's a Brisbane bar for you.
- March 2020
The Queensland capital’s buzzing bar scene runs the gamut from classy cocktail joints to quirky brewpubs and many offer deals that will leave a bit of change in your pocket.
Best for buzz: Gerard’s Bar
Located just off hifalutin James Street, this watering hole draws Brisbane’s bright young things like bees to blossoms. It could be for the slick table service and friendly atmosphere, or the fact that it’s the sister venue of the celebrated Gerard’s Bistro, just across the car park, providing first-class bar food. From Monday to Friday they run an aperitivo hour, slinging AUD $7 house wines and Asahi Super Dry, and AUD $8 Aperol spritzes 4pm-7pm. And the beef, cheddar and pickle burger is an unsung contender for Brisbane’s best burger.
Best for people-watching: Super Whatnot
The award-winning tiered interior of this Brisbane stalwart makes it one of the most charismatic drinking dens in the city, particularly when a DJ is crate-digging through some classic R&B. The party starts each day with Super Whatnot happy hour from 3pm-6pm with schooners of Mismatch tap beer and glasses of Radio Boka tempranillo and Little Angel sauvignon blanc all going for AUD $7 each. Grab a seat upstairs overlooking the main bar – it’s perfect for people-watching – or time your visit with Super Whatnot’s regular Pocketmoth Records events, where DJs spin the latest wax to visual artist Madeline Holt’s mesmerising projections. As for eats, don’t miss the formidable Super Reuben sandwich, which is built on brisket pastrami.
Best for cocktails: Snack Man
This slick, moody bar is run by brothers Cameron and Jordan Votan, best known for their phenomenally popular Happy Boy restaurant next door. It’s all about cocktails and small-producer European wines here, and the drinks are paired with regional Chinese small plates. Go Tuesdays and Wednesdays before 6.30pm for half-price cocktails. A Tommy’s Margarita, made with Oaxacan mescal, is best enjoyed under the jacaranda trees.
Best for a MasterChef alumnus: Alba Bar & Delicatessen
Seasoned bartender and former MasterChef contestant Jamie Fleming opened this New York-inspired pinchos bar inside a brick storehouse in Brisbane’s oldest laneway last year, serving wine, sherry, beer and Spanish-style small plates to the CBD’s hip crowd. On Mondays, the bar’s hip-hop soundtrack switches to the Wu-Tang Clan for their “Wu-Tang Clans Ain’t Nuthin to Shuck With” night – expect AUD $6 classic cans of beer such as Emu Export and West End lager, and AUD $10 bowls of South Australian clams, from 5pm. The seafood-focused menu includes croquettes, house-salted cod and octopus.
Best for live music: Blute’s Bar
This grungy bolthole at the heart of the Fortitude Valley entertainment precinct captures the spirit of the classic Aussie pub with its focus on live music, good beer and exceptional pub grub. Visit from 12pm-2pm and 5pm-7pm Wednesday to Sunday for AUD $5 schooners of its rotating house beer – Young Henrys Newtowner lager and Mountain Goat Pale Ale are typical. On Wednesday nights, Blute’s flips excellent chicken burgers for half-price.
Best for craft beer: Ballistic Beer Co West End
With the award-winning craft brewer opening a taproom in inner-suburban West End, you no longer need travel to the southern suburb of Salisbury to enjoy an ever-changing line-up of special single hop and oaked beers. Hit the hideaway on Wednesdays when barkeeps pour the brewer’s core lager, ale, IPA and table beer for AUD $15 a jug and the kitchen serves up double dumplings for almost half-price at AUD $15 a plate. Return on a Thursday or Friday for a AUD $20 burger and beer deal.
Best for views: Fiume
From its killer rooftop views of the Brisbane River towards the city and the almighty Story Bridge that sits above, to a menu of Italian-influenced bar snacks, there’s a lot to love about this bar at The Fantauzzo hotel. But it’s the drinks that the crowds come for – a well-curated mix of shared cocktails, spritzes and European-style wines. Wednesday through Friday from 4pm to 6pm the bar runs an apertivo hour with AUD $18 nabbing you an Aperol spritz with a plate of arancini or eggplant fries.