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The Best Pubs in Geelong

Victoria’s second-largest city has plenty of pubs to consider when you’re paying a visit to the bayside city. The traditional owners of the land are the Wadawurrung people, who called the area Djilang, with the land first surveyed by Europeans in 1838. The town was a major hub during the Victorian Gold Rush as it was the closest port to the rich goldfields of Ballarat.

Geelong was proclaimed a city in 1910, and grew into a major manufacturing centre, becoming home to the Ford Motor Company for many years. And with all the industry in town, there were no doubt many thirsty souls searching for a refreshing ale. Pubs have been popping up all over Geelong since the mid-1800s, many of which are still around today.

ALSO READ: The Best Pubs in Bendigo

These are the best pubs in Geelong.

Murphy’s

Geelong West
The building Murphy’s occupies is one of the oldest buildings in Geelong, originally known as The Argyle Hotel, the site is where the Geelong Football Club was initially formed in 1859. The pub has changed hands over the years until it became a gin bar before it was transformed back into an Irish pub in 2016. Murphy’s runs a bottomless brunch every Saturday for $69 per person, and has a great menu featuring a range of parmas, burgers, and pub classics.

Find out more about Murphy’s here.

Gold Diggers Arms

Newtown
Another pub that’s been serving cold beers for well over 150 years, the Gold Diggers Arms first opened in Newtown in 1854. Grab a meal in the bistro surrounded by the stunning leadlight windows where you’ll tuck into share plates, pub classics, some great desserts.

Find out more about the Gold Diggers Arms here.

The Commo Hotel

Geelong
The Commo (Commun na Feine) is one of the few places around Australia that still offers a mixed grill on its menu, and we find that reason enough to make a beeline for it. Owned by former Geelong player Billy Brownless, The Commo has a great menu to tear into with the likes of the open souvlaki, or the seafood paella on its mains menu, alongside pub classics you’d expect like chicken parma, open steak sandwich, and more. The Commo has a front bar, bistro, and beer garden.

Find out more about The Commo Hotel here.

Sawyers Arms Tavern

Newtown
Geelong has some very old pubs, and the Sawyers Arms Tavern is definitely another of those, having opened in 1850. Also found in Newtown, the Sawyers Arms Tavern offers a feed me menu alongside its a la carte options. The feed me menu gives you the choice between entrees, mains, and desserts, along with a great cocktail selection. Highlights of the usual menu include the pork belly, and the crispy skin Tasmanian salmon.

Find out more about the Sawyers Arms Tavern here.

Malt Shovel Taphouse

Geelong
Malt Shovel Taphouse in Geelong is one of a few bars Malt Shovel has around Australia. Home to beers from Byron Bay Brewery, Eumundi Brewery, Brooklyn Brewery in the United States, Furphy, James Squire, and Kosciuszko—there’s no shortage of choice when it comes to choosing the right beer for you.

Find out more about the Malt Shovel Taphouse here.

Elephant & Castle Hotel

Geelong
Another historic pub in Geelong you say? Why yes, the Elephant & Castle Hotel on McKillop Street first opened in 1891. A great place for a beer, dinner, or even to host your function, and they even run a steak night every Wednesday which only sets you back $28. There’s also the option of getting 10 oysters instead of your steak as well. There’s Grandma’s roast every Sunday, trivia night on Thursday, and martini night every Friday night.

Find out more about the Elephant & Castle Hotel here.

The Barking Dog

Geelong West
Pakington Street in Geelong West is where you’ll find The Barking Dog. The pub hosts bottomless brunch every Saturday and Sunday for $75 per person, and bottomless dinner on Saturday nights for $85 per person. The Barking Dog is also home to Geelong’s only permanent karaoke night where those with vocal prowess can show their skills every Friday and Saturday night from 7:30pm until late.

Find out more about The Barking Dog here.

Mount Moriac Hotel

Mount Moriac
Originally the place where stagecoaches and travellers stopped for a rest when travelling between Melbourne and Adelaide, the Mount Moriac Hotel sprung up in its place, and caters to anyone looking for a feed or to quench a thirst. Camping is available on-site for free at the Mount Moriac Hotel, and when you head there you’re a good chance to also catch some live music.

Find out more about the Mount Moriac Hotel here.

Little Creatures Brewery

Geelong
Little Creatures has called Geelong home for more than a decade now, after purchasing the Old Valley Worsted Mill near the Barwon River. Little Creatures in Geelong is a like a beer wonderland, and is home to Little Creatures, is the home of Furphy, and also White Rabbit ale. There’s a ton of great beer halls to venture into, and great food everywhere you turn.

Find out more about Little Creatures Brewery here.

Fyansford Hotel

Fyansford
By now you’re well and truly over me talking about historic pubs, but here’s another anyway. The Fyansford Hotel is situated in Fyansford, what was an outpost of Geelong and is growing rapidly. Near the banks of the Moorabool River, the Fyansford Hotel was established in 1854 and has a bistro, sports bar, drive-through bottle shop, and room for functions.

Find out more about the Fyansford Hotel here.

Valhalla Taproom

Geelong
Not a pub per se, the Vahalla Taproom is a tap room, bar, and micro brewery that produces a range of beers on-site.Vahalla brews their Obsidian black ale which won champion stout or porter at the 2021 Australian Beer Awards, an American pale ale which won gold at the same awards, a golden ale, lime tart sour, tropical IPA, their Union Street draught, an oatmeal stout, a West coast IPA, a red IPA, a chocolate blackberry stout, hazy IPA, and a raspberry lime sour to top it all off.

Find out more about Valhalla Taproom here.

Blackmans Brewery

Grovedale
Blackman’s second location after their initial brewery in Torquay, Blackman’s Brewery in Grovedale has 16 beers on tap which is sure to satisfy the most thirsty of travellers. Brewery tours run every Friday in Geelong, and start at 4:30pm. It costs just $20 per person and you’ll get a full tour of the brewery, and a tasting paddle for your efforts at the end.

Find out more about Blackman’s Brewery here.


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