09 June, 2022

Raising the bar beyond Hobart

Some of Australia’s coolest and classiest bars are in Hobart, but there’s lots more temptation in the rest of Tasmania though. So whether you like old pubs or brewpubs, sophisticated city dens or bars with a view, these are Tasmania’s best drinking establishments outside the capital.
The Arcade Bar. Photo: The Arcade Bar.

Living it up in Launceston

This UNESCO City of Gastronomy and winner of Tassie’s Top Tourism Town 2022 is renowned for good food – but what makes it taste even better? Good drinks.

Launnie does it well at gems like Havilah, a wine bar offering vino from near and far and a smart, snacky menu including charcuterie and calzone. Head down a laneway and discover tiny Bar Two, which only pours Tassie wines and spirits, and favours local bites like oysters and cheese. Then step upstairs to Cinco Passiones lounge bar for more snacks and sophisticated tipples including hand-crafted cocktails.

Just around the corner is The Barrel Collective, another little place with a local focus – mainly beer, wine and spirits, but also top Tassie cheese. Saint John Craft Beer Bar offers brews from the island and the world, including 17 on tap, plus beer-friendly food like pork-jowl burgers and crumbed-fish tacos. For drinks with a big 80s twist, The Arcade Bar goes all out: retro arcade games, pinballs, music, memorabilia and even an itty-bitty disco dancefloor.

Western Tiers Distillery. Photo: Tourism Australia.

Drink from the source

It’s easy to find distilleries offering tastings, but Western Tiers Distillery takes it to the next level at their slick new bar and dining area. Enjoy cocktails made with their gin, vodka and poitin – rarely found outside of Ireland – and maybe some share plates too.

Beer tastes best where it’s made, especially when that place is as warm and welcoming as Burnie’s Communion Brewing Co. Choose from their beers, including coffee porter, as well as wine, cider, spirits, non-alcoholic beer and yummy bites. Also on the north-west coast, Ulverstone’s Buttons Brewpub offers more holiday-worthy craft beers and food, plus waterfront views.

Pub in the Paddock. Photo: Tourism Tasmania & Nick Osborne.

Kicking back at country pubs

Tasmania’s blessed with heritage architecture, including pubs like Evandale’s Clarendon Arms which dates back to 1842. Its open fire, wooden furniture, stained glass and other old-timey touches recalls old English pubs, but it’s the posh pub grub and local beers and spirits that keep punters coming back.

Other golden oldies looking close to home include the Weldborough Hotel, which champions Tassie craft beers, spirits, ciders and wine, and Deloraine’s Bush Inn Brewhouse, where local drinks go down a treat with food that’s a bit fancy – including pizza options like Tasmanian scallops or prosciutto, pear and parmesan.

A fresh menu focused on island produce is just part of a recent makeover at The Kentish. Opened in Oatlands in 1832, it’s now also got pared-back vintage decor and new beer taps at the distinctive U-shaped bar.

Established in 1872, the Bridge Hotel in Forth is a great place for a glass or two, classic fare like parmas and steak, and live music. Like the idea of drinks at The Pub in the Paddock? Pyengana’s 1888 watering hole lives up to its name, and there’s a beer-drinking pig called Priscilla too, but the warm fire, cold beer and hearty meals means it’s more than a novelty.

The Imbibers. Photo: Alastair Bett.

More brilliant bars

Another top option in Oatlands is The Imbibers, an old pharmacy transformed into a temple of food and drinks made within 60 kilometres – including spirits from four distilleries, so expect some very crafty cocktails. Another heritage building now dedicated to local flavours is Stanley’s quirky little lounge bar, Tasmanian Wine and Food.

Whether you’re staying at Freycinet Lodge or just passing through, sip something special while enjoying the epic coastal vista at this luxe accommodation’s Hazards Bar and Lounge. Before getting back aboard Spirit of Tasmania, raise a glass at Devonport’s Empress Craft Beer, a bar-meets-bottle shop whose huge range might tempt you to buy some tasty souvenirs. Cheers!

Empress Craft Beer. Photo: S. Group

If you're visiting Hobart, you can find our list of great Hobart bars here.


Information included in this blog is correct at the time of publishing. Please contact individual operators for further information.

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