Ahhh St Patrick’s Day, you’re almost upon us. A day when even those who don’t drink beer (because wine) reach for a pint of Guinness, tuck into a hearty Irish stew, give their best Riverdance rendition a crack (generally after said pint of Guinness) and say “to be sure, to be sure” wayyyy too many times.
This year, that day is a Thursday (17th March) and that’s really close to Friday, which is really close to the weekend, so there is simply no excuse not to don something green, play U2 full blast and head out for some local Irish cheer.
Do we know the best places partial to a St Paddy’s celebration? To be sure, to be sure (see, we’re already doing it). Here’s a list of top Gold Coast spots to celebrate St Patrick’s Day from north to south.
Harrigan’s Irish Pub
Because one day just isn’t enough to enjoy Harrigan’s delicious Irish food and drink specials, they’re putting on a spread from the 13th to the 17th of March. Encouraging you to get your jig on, the Limerick Band and The Shamrock Dancers will be in fine form on Sunday 13th March, and on Thursday 17th (THE day); with Tartan Shamrock and the amazing Sarah Calderwood helping you to embrace your inner Irish. Because we’re sure we’ve all long-lost relatives from the Emerald Isle right?!
Where: Harrigan’s Lane, Jacobs Well
Listen up lads and laddies, with a mantra like “why just celebrate one day when you can have a whole week of St Patrick’s”, Cauldron Distillery has our attention! We’re invited to find our greenest outfit and make our way to this breathtaking 18-acre property within Australia’s Green (appropriate) Cauldron. With the Scenic Rim recently being named (by Lonely Planet) as one of the top 10 regional destinations to visit in 2022, St Paddy’s is the perfect excuse to make your way up the mountain and experience their gin greatness.
Where: 89-123 Hartley Road, Tamborine Mountain
Dublin Docks Tavern
Harbour Town Shopping Centre’s favourite neighbour Dublin Docks is never light on Irish cheer, particularly not on St Patty’s Day! With live entertainment (bands & Irish dancers), a best-dressed competition, a leprechaun golden chocolate giveaway, Irish food specials, green beer and a ginger giveaway (for actual redheads – not those of you sporting ginger beards from the $2 shop), we’ll see you there yeah?
Where: Harbour Town Drive, Biggera Waters
Another venue where one day of St Pats shenanigans just isn’t enough! Enjoy Irish sounds and flavours with a weekend chocca-block with Irish themed entertainment. From Thursday 17th to Saturday 19th of March you’ll be able to get your gobber on $13 Beef & Guinness Pies at Frenzy’s (drool). The Munsterbucks (an epic Irish band) will be on the main stage on Friday 18th March, and then ‘U2 the Show’ will give you all the Irish feels on Saturday 19th March. Bono would be proud!
Where: Cnr Musgrave and Olsen Avenues, Southport
Bazaar, QT Gold Coast
While we love a buffet at the best of times, we have think we’ve found your pot of foodie gold at Bazaar’s special Irish themed feast. Treat yourself to an Irish inspired spread, complete with Irish stew’s, Guinness and of course a touch of Irish luck for St Patty’s day and the entire weekend! We’ll forgive you for coming out as a chubbier little leprechaun after.
Waxy’s Irish Pub
Always a sure thing for a hearty feed and Irish beer fix, Waxy’s has traditional Irish charm in spades! Set in the heart of Surfers Paradise, you’re guaranteed to find an Irishman (or 50) here spread amongst 2 levels of entertainment (including the stunning Skyline Rooftop Bar because who doesn’t dig sipping an Irish ale on a roof).
Where: 3206 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise
With St Patrick’s celebrations lasting four days (now that’s commitment!), follow the end of the rainbow to Finn McCool’s and get ready for one helluva hangover! (Sorry not sorry!) From 10am on Thursday 17th and 11am on Friday 19th – Sunday 20th March, kick up your heels to Irish sounds from The Gathering, Limerick, Tartan Shamrock, TradStation, QIPB and more. It’s free entry so assemble your crew and crack out your clogs!
Where: 39 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise
D’Arcy Arms Irish Pub
It’s not just a day, or even a weekend, it’s a full-blown St Patrick’s Fest at this much loved local Irish icon. Over the three-day extravaganza, catch Claddagh, the Carolan Academy Irish dancers, the GC Pipe Band, Trad Station, Claddagh and none other than The Gathering. Head down for some traditional Irish fare and what’s sure to be the best time outside of the motherland itself!
Where: 2923 Gold Coast Highway, Surfers Paradise
Not one to miss out on any occasion worth celebrating, Robina Pav is getting their green on with lots of Irish specialties. In addition to lucky green beer (what’s more Irish than that?) and epic Kilkenny and Guinness pints specials all day long, you can sample specially prepared Luck of the Irish cocktails – we are so there. And to soak up the booze, tuck into a house-made beef and Guinness pie or 2. To be sure!
Where: 227 Ron Penhaligon Way, Robina
Words by Bianca Trathen.
The craft beer scene has exploded on the Gold Coast of late and, hooray, local breweries have been popping up all over the place. Not to mention Friday August 7th is International Beer Day, so that’s the perfect way to ring in the weekend.
In honour of that and epic local brews, here are the top ten breweries you should make a date with RIGHT NOW.
Burleigh Brewing Co.
Balance, character and soul, the Burleigh Brewing Co. ethos says it all. They’ve won plenty of gold medals at the World Beer Championships (which sounds like the most fun night of all time) and we can confirm they know what’s up when it comes to creating exceptional brews. At the moment, the team are just doing takeaways to help support the local venues pouring their beers, but never fear, there are many across the Coast doing that you can pop into. It’s clear to see why Burleigh Brewing Co. are extremely loved by locals and visitors alike.
Where: 2 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads
Black Hops Brewing
It’s all about three guys perfecting the art of craft beer and sharing all their secrets along the way. Black Hops quickly became a local favourite and have recently released one of the best Pale Ale’s on the market. Head in to grab some takeaways or perch at the bar for a chat, it’s all good. Their spacious northern venue opened a little while ago so they could brew even more delicious goods, there are food trucks up there on weekends AND you can take a tour of the brewery. So fun.
Where: 15 Gardenia Grove, Burleigh Heads and 671 Pine Ridge Road, Biggera Waters
Balter Brewing Company
Who knew a beer tin could look so good? The name Balter means the sense of enjoyment you get from doing something you love, whether you’re good at it or not…perfect. Balter HQ is a brewery with an open door policy. You can tour the facility, taste the beers and enjoy special events, great music and food vans. There’s an outdoor area complete with umbrellas and fairy lights and it’s pretty much all our favourite things in one spot. We’re big fans of Captain Sensible, can’t relate but man is it tasty.
Where: 14 Traders Way, Currumbin
Fortitude Brewing Company
Brewed onsite in the Gold Coast hinterland, Fortitude Brewing is one of Australia’s most-loved breweries and home to our first beer sommelier, Ian Watson. The team certainly have the art of beer making down pat with over 15 beers on their roster! Make a day of your visit to the mountain and enjoy a tasting paddle or two with a spot of lunch. You’ll love them so much you’ll want to take a few home with you too. Get a free beer here.
Where: 165 Long Road, Eagle Heights
Aardvark & Arrow Brewery
A microbrewery on the Coast set to change the way you think about small batch brewing. Aardvark & Arrow supply chemical and preservative free beer and cider in a relaxing atmosphere that will leave you wanting to return sooner rather than later. There’s plenty of variety so head down and visit the team for a boutique beer experience with a difference.
Where: 13 John Duncan Court, Varsity Lakes
Pickled Pig Brewery
Technically this one’s in NSW but it’s definitely worth a mention. The family owned and operated, independent brewery offers premium handcrafted beer, chemical and preservative free at a great price (they even let you fill your own bottles)! Make sure you try their famous alcoholic ginger beer, it’s way too good. Brewery tours and tastings also available.
Where: 1/2 Industry Drive, Tweed Heads South
Lost Palms Brewing
The Miami good time venue with the explosive pink paint job is probably about to become your new favourite place thanks to the boys at Lost Palms. They’ve got a sweet outdoor area to pull up a seat complete with a basketball hoop and rotating food trucks to fill your belly. Their beers are quite unique, think beetroot flavoured and a sour that’ll knock your socks off. Plus it’s simply oozing with good vibes all of the time. If you’re a fan of seltzer (which we know isn’t beer), these guys do a peach version that’s the best around.
Where: 11 Oak Avenue, Miami
The Lucky Squire
The newest of the bunch is part of a group of venues you’ve no doubt heard of. It’s the James Squire family and The Lucky Squire is our very own Gold Coast version. Having only opened a few months ago, the newbie can be found at The Oracle and it’s two stories of microbrewery goodness. There are two bars pouring an array of sips including the entire James Squire range and if you’re after a feed, there’s tasty dishes like wood-fired steaks and double cheeseburgers that should do the trick. Head down for an arvo session.
Where: 3 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach
Laughing Lizard Brewery
The crew at Laughing Lizard made over 150 different beers, all of which boast no chemicals and no preservatives (which equals no hangover, right?) and they’ve even got a gluten free option. The brewery itself is a three for one deal including the micro brewery, a home brew and spirit shop and the all-important party keg hire! Let the good times roll.
Where: 27 Sinclair Street, Arundel
Gold Coast Brewery
If it’s range you’re after, look no further, the Gold Coast Brewery has a huge range of beers on offer including premium options, heavy duty types, ciders and ginger beers. All of the very best things to get you through the rest of the year. Which, let’s face it, is probably going to call for alot of beer.
Where: 6/4 Indy Court, Nerang
Keep an eye out for Surfers Paradise’ frothy new brewery, coming in late 2020 and there’s a couple of others in the works too.
As we fast approach the notorious St Patrick’s Day, we used up the luck of the Irish to interview the General Manager of the oldest Irish Pub on the Coast, D’Arcy Arms. Janene Porter (nicknamed: Flossy) who has been busy gearing up for the St Patty’s celebrations gives us an insight into the history of the traditional pub and also a feel-good miracle story that comes from the establishment.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I started commuting between the Gold Coast and Port Douglas in 1987 when I was apart of the crew on Mirage III, based at Marina Mirage. I then relocated to live permanently on the GC in January 1990.
What do you love the most about living here?
It’s the perfect balance between coastal surroundings and city living. Ultimately it’s the climate, beaches, hinterland, the overall easy-going lifestyle and of course, the locals.
Tell us about the history of D’Arcy Arms.
The pub was established on 8th August 1988 by founder Roy D’Arcy. D’Arcy Arms is an icon and is the longest-standing Irish venue (with a motel) on the Gold Coast. A great little story I love to tell is one of our former staff members, Robyn, was able to meet her biological father thanks to working at D’Arcy Arms. It all happened when a patron was chatting to Robyn and it was mentioned she had never met her father. The patron managed to find Robyn’s father, who was living in Guernsey at the time, which resulted in them connecting and meeting – they have been in contact ever since. It’s incredible because she would have never met her father if that patron hadn’t stopped in for a Guinness at the D’Arcy Arms.
What’s the craziest story to come out of D’Arcy Arms?
What goes on at the D’Arcy Arms stays at the D’Arcy Arms! Many of our patrons have been loyal since the pub opened in 1988. The D’Arcy has always been fortunate enough to have amazing support from both the local Irish & Aussie communities.
What can people expect at D’Arcy Arms for St Patty’s Day?
We have a full St Patrick’s Festival starting on Saturday 13th March. On Saturday and Sunday we are open from 12pm with incredible live Irish music, Irish dancing displays, delicious Irish Fare and plenty of craic! On the actual international St Patrick’s Day (Wednesday 17 March) we have a full day of entertainment starting at 10am with a line-up of Irish Musicians including: The Gathering, Munster Bucks, Mark Butler, The Carolan Academy of Irish Dance & Pipe Band. We will accompany this with delicious Irish fare, gift giveaways and of course the best Guinness, Kilkenny & Magners on tap, just to name a few things!
Tell us a fun fact, how many pints of Guinness are consumed at D’Arcy Arms on St Patty’s Day?
Honestly, you lose count!
Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Café for breakfast: Hot Shott
Coffee spot: I am a Main Beach local, so anywhere on Tedder Avenue for a good coffee.
Restaurant for dinner: I’m more of a lunch girl and have many favourites from Burleigh, Broadbeach and Main Beach.
Bar or pub for a drink: The D’Arcy Arms of course!
How does your weekend usually look? I am usually at D’Arcy Arms as our weekends a very busy, but l do always start the day with a long beach walk. When l occasionally have a weekend off, a long lunch with friends is always on the cards.
How good is an icy cold beer on a balmy afternoon? Heck, or any afternoon for that matter. Especially right here on the Gold Coast, where not only are we blessed with copious amounts of year-round sunshine, but an increasing array of talented breweries and equally impressive spots to take a load off and enjoy their hard work.
Although the possibilities for lavishing yourself with a great beer are endless, here’s our whittled down top 11 spots (listed north to south) to grab a brew on any (post-lockdown) afternoon you please! Cheers to that.
Fortitude Brewing Company
Fortitude Brewing Company is special because they brew under not one but two names. Fortitude for the dependable beers you enjoy with mates and Noisy Minor for the loud beers we all love now and again. Due to brewing excellent beers, it’s Tamborine Mountain’s best spot for a Sunday sesh. Enjoy hot gourmet pizzas and one of their 14 icy-cold beers while you listen to the live band on the patio.
Beer to sip: Fortitude Pacer — the perfect session pale ale.
Where: 165 Long Rd, North Tamborine
The newest beer stop of the bunch is BOB’s Beer. This highly anticipated first microbrewery in Surfers Paradise opened with an impressive range of beers on tap and an incredible menu filled with bites you might not expect. Positioned on a corner block means there’s also plenty of window seating for watching the world go by outside. Talented (former) Melbourne brewer Ryan Fullerton and his team have created inhouse a lager, IPA, XPA and a Saison among six others, all available on tap (plus six guest taps from around Australia and NZ).
Beer to sip: Turmenator, a brut IPA that’s dry, spicy and tropical with hints of fresh tumeric root and saffron.
Where: 10/2 Elkhorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise
House of Brews
The name says it all. House of Brews has a whopping 32 beers on tap! In fact, they have so many kegs, they’ve even got a ‘keg room display’. If you aren’t a beer lover (sacrilege), there’s every chance if you still head to House of Brews, they’ll make a beer lover out of you. The food menu is inspired by traditional American BBQ so grab yourself some sticky ribs and maybe an Onion Ring Volcano tower. You’ll be one ever so happy afternoon beer drinker.
Beer to sip: Huge selection! Try something — left of centre — from North America if you can.
Where: 17 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Bine Bar & Dining
The Gold Coast’s first craft beer bar, Bine, is adored by locals and packed to the brim every single weekend (and often throughout the week). Serving over 100 bottled beers and with eight rotating taps, the folks at Bine know their brews. Not to mention there are food specials daily, including regular 50 cent chicken wings specials every weekday evening! Wash those down with a beer or two, and that’s an excellent way to pass some time by anyone’s standard.
Beer to sip: Something local like Currumbin Valley Brewery.
Where: 1/28 Chairlift Avenue, Nobby Beach
Lost Palms Brewing Co.
The baby of the Gold Coast’s brewery bunch, Lost Palms joined us just four years ago, all bright pink and pretty and with a unique selection of very delicious beers on offer. Currently, you’ll find a Hibiscus and Guava sour and American style mango and passionfruit wheat ale. And if you feel like something a little different and looking after the rig, they’ve even knocked up a peach seltzer brewed from grain and coming in at a marginal 80 calories a serving — that’s just a 25-minute stroll on the treadmill, by the way. They also have a small share-style menu and a basketball hoop so you can both feast and play while you sip.
Beer to sip: Lost Palms Hibiscus & Guava Sour — a sour tropical lolly in a glass.
Where: 11 Oak Avenue, Miami
Bursting onto the Miami arts precinct scene with a rapacious welcome, Precinct Brewing has quickly made itself a solid status as a place to grab a freshly made beer, pull up a stool and forget all of life’s woes. They make matters much more bearable with the tastiest of pizzas, stand-up comedy, and some captivating, limited releases like their recent Lime & Chilli Lager and Manuka Smoked Pilsner — yummy!
Beer to sip: Check out their weekly Friday releases for exclusive flavours!
Where: 17 Christine Avenue, Miami
If robust and deep flavoured ales get your heart rate rising, you have to try out Black Hops newest foray into brewing beer. Located a hop, skip and jump away from Black Hops HQ, this new — hidden in plain sight — stylish bar will take your tastebuds on an odyssey with imaginative barrel-aged beers. Ex gin, wine, and whisky barrels from worldwide have been sourced to help produce the Gold Coast’s most inventive brews with some serious ABVS to match. Not for the faint of heart, but nevertheless some seriously great drinking to be had.
Beer to sip: AWOL Rebellion Stout — imperial stout aged in used Tasmanian whisky barrels: delish.
Where: 4 Hibiscus Haven, Burleigh Heads
Black Hops Brewing
What do you get when you mix three mates, a passion for beer and a little know-how? Damn good beer. That’s the story behind Black Hops who have three brewery/taproom sites across Burleigh Heads, Biggera Waters and Brisbane. The boys have worked super hard to build a solid reputation for themselves not just here on the Gold Coast but nationally with multiple awards and trade recognitions. Their original easy-going taproom tucked away in Burleigh Heads is the perfect watering hole when the mercury starts to rise.
Beer to sip: Black Hops Send It Session Ale — light, fruity, and not too strong.
Where: 15 Gardenia Grove, Burleigh Heads and 14 665 Pine Ridge Road, Biggera Waters
Burleigh Brewing Co.
One of the unprecedented and best brewers on the Coast, husband and wife team Brennan and Peta Fielding opened Burleigh Brewing Co. to rave reviews, and it’s been onwards and upwards ever since. The brewery is spacious with lots of outdoor seating and always filled with revellers having an absolute time. When they’re not throwing big events, be sure to slip in for an exceptional selection of craft beers, all of which we’re big fans of.
Beer to sip: Burleigh Brewing Burleigh Bighead — No carb, no-fuss big flavoured thirst quencher.
Where: 2 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads
Balter Brewing Company
When a gang of pro surfers came together and created an award-winning brewery, Australia sat up and paid attention. And although the original owners may have parted ways with their baby, the beer is still on point, and it’s still the perfect spot to enjoy a few brews with the crew. There’s a sweet outdoor area where the kiddies can run about and weekly food trucks with live music in the evenings. Too hard not to love this spot: plenty of tasty frothies to sample.
Beer to sip: Balter XPA — Balter’s most awarded beer can be yours fresh from the production line.
Where: 14 Traders Way, Currumbin Waters
Craft House Bar & Restaurant
Craft House has the Tugun beer-drinking scene covered with 20 Australian craft beers on tap at any given time. When one tap runs dry, they swap it out for a completely different kind, meaning you can go there often and experience something new. And if you feel like trying as many as possible, you must do one of their tasting paddles. Not to mention their food menu is pretty all-time with share plates aplenty, meaning you might nip in for a quick one but end up staying a little longer.
Beer to sip: Lots of choices — try something you’ve never had before.
Where: 445 Golden Four Drive, Tugun
Words by Alex Mitcheson.