Drinks

The Best Hidden Beer Gardens

By Shae Parsons
three beers cheersing

Everybody loves beer, everybody loves gardens – So, when you put the two together, it’s an intoxicating recipe that guarantees a lot of fun! Thankfully, Auckland has many great places that bring beer, gardens, you, and some friends together. Here at Dish Cult, we’ve rounded up some spots that you’d be a fool to miss out on.

The Commons

21 Hurstmere Road, Takapuna
The Commons

In the thick of Takapuna lies The Commons. A versatile space, The Commons offers a decent variety of beers and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to please even the fussiest drinker. A welcome addition to Takapuna’s swanky dining precinct, The Commons is great for those wanting something shoreside with a little bit of central-city pizzazz thrown in. 

The Glass Goose

78 Federal Street, Auckland CBD
The Glass Goose

A glittery joint under the Sky Tower, you know it’s a good place to be when it can stand up to its impressive neighbours. Those neighbours being, of course, the mastery of Al Brown’s Depot and Federal Delicatessen. Modelled after the concept of a glass house, you can enjoy a post-work brew being accompanied by the stunning view of the SkyCity precinct. Offering the classic brews and some quirky ones to pique the interest of the adventurous, The Glass Goose will be the best secret you could never keep.

605 Morningside Drinkery

605 New North Road, Kingsland,

Quintessentially Kiwi, this spot is small in size, but packs a huge punch. With over 60 craft beers, each finds their time to shine with a rotating menu. Live performances create a homely atmosphere that feels suburban but is only a stone’s throw away from the central city. The relaxed and welcoming atmosphere of 605 encapsulates everything that a beer garden should define.

Morningside Tavern

16 McDonald Street, Morningside
Morningside Tavern

As a love letter to the builder of the suburb of Morningside – named in jest after a lunatic asylum for the suburb’s apparent lack of developable land – the Morningside Tavern is in respect to the original villa sites of the area. With a broad list of brews, the tavern likes to keep their menu fresh by rotating their tap to showcase their full wheelhouse. Perfect for those who enjoy a rustic aesthetic, the décor amps the atmosphere to a relaxed, yet sophisticated feel. 

Lumsden Freehouse

444 Khyber Pass Road, Newmarket

Claiming to be the ‘home of craft beer’ in Auckland may be a big call, but with this Newmarket joint – it may be a fair one. Lumsden Freehouse prides itself on their namesake – ‘Freehouse’ meaning that the spot is free of big breweries. They have a no-nonsense attitude to every aspect of the establishment. From their 14 rotating tap beers, 120 bottled and canned varieties, and welcoming attitude, Lumsden Freehouse demonstrates that a purist attitude need not be pretentious. It’s all about being fair, honest, and dedicated to serving a good brew and a good time. The added bonus with this spot is that you’ll never be bored! Pinball machines, chalkboard tables, and quiz nights are all great diversions from a gathering going sour.

Good George Craft House

71 Tamaki Drive, Mission Bay
Good George Craft House

It usually would be blasphemous to credit Hamilton for providing Auckland with one of the best beer gardens in town – but Good George is Good George, so it must be said. Hailing from the City of Sail’s southern neighbour, this spot takes a friendly attitude to bringing good beer to our gardens. Removing the sometimes-haughty attitude some craft beer enthusiasts promote, Good George’s main mission is to convince you that Hamilton can do it too. Winning both international and national awards for their brewing is proof that Hamilton can do it too. 

Hoppers

2 Richmond Road, Grey Lynn
Hoppers

With craft beers on tap, a variety of botanical gin and food to be shared – what’s better than a Ponsonby eatery and some fine beer? An ode to the peculiar, Hoppers loves to showcase the weird yet wonderful. With 18 tap beers that rotate daily, you’re never in for a bore at this rather whimsical joint. Hoppers is a trip to simpler times, where the alcohol was focused on quality and not quantity. 

Brothers Beer

Various Locations

Scattered across Auckland, Brothers Beer is making a name for themselves, spreading their love for high-quality brews and a good time. With their main venue in City Works Depot offering over 200 beers and 18 more on tap – this is heaven for those who consider themselves a bit of a beer connoisseur. If in the city, stop by for the biggest variety of beers around – pair your brew with some tasty BBQ to fully indulge. The best part about the multiple locations is that each place has their own unique spin and identity – so you’ll be getting the same great beer but something a little different each time.

Citizen Park

424 New North Road, Kingsland
Citizen Park

If there’s any spot where one in search of craft beer would fit in, it’s in Kingsland – home to Canton Café, and now, Citizen Park. Refurbishing the historic Honda motorcycle shop, Citizen Park is a sunny, serene, and sensational beer garden nestled in the heart of one of Auckland’s coolest suburbs. Not one to be pigeonholed, Citizen Park has a great food menu also – paying homage to classical American diners with a modern twist.

Headquarters

115 Customs Street West, Auckland CBD

HQ is a relative newcomer to the scene, but the Viaduct establishment has made its mark on the local culinary scene. Offering the best of every world imaginable, its no surprise that while this spot doesn’t solely function as a beer garden, it has the quality brews and the garden atmosphere which would qualify it as such. Boasting an extensive beer list which provides international, local, and craft beers on tap – you can appease all types of drinkers whilst you satisfy those beer cravings. It’s a win-win situation, really!

Northcote Tavern

37 Queen Street, Northcote
Northcote Tavern

Running since the 1800s, ‘The Tav’ has seen not only an influx of loyal customers, but the entire country surrounding it change entirely. 160 years of operation is no mean feat and the spot’s longevity is due to its effortless ability to remain true to its historical roots, whilst catering for modern tastes. The Northcote Tavern is more than just a pub, a beer garden, or even an eatery – it’s become a defining part of the local community. And when you see the variety of brews available and the irresistible and sunny atmosphere, you’ll understand why.

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