Old pubs are being made over or reimagined in the best possible ways.
The secret’s out about Hobart’s hole-in-the-wall bars, defined by their sophisticated tastes in wines and small plates. Out of town you’ll find pubs with views over ocean and mountain, journeys back in time, and back-to-basics brewers capturing the island’s essence in a bottle.
Best pubs and bars
Visionary licensees are breathing new life into the Midlands town of Oatlands, from an old dispensary reborn as a wine, cheese and spirit merchant (The Imbibers) to an 1830s pub (The Kentish Tasmania) restored to its former glory.
Old souls, young hearts
An 1858 Hobart hotel has been restored to its former glory, serving up pub meals inspired by regional produce (Telegraph Hotel). In the north, the colonial-era Clarendon Arms in Evandale is doing smart 21st century drinking and dining, surrounded by antlers.
City wine bars range from tiny hole-in-the-wall shopfronts with rare grooves (Sonny, Hobart) to local favourites with exceptional wines and liquor (Willing Bros Wine Merchants, Hobart; Bar Two, Launceston).
Many of Tasmania’s craft brewers run their own taprooms, but for a wide selection of craft suds, head to Saint John Craft Beer (Launceston), with more than 170 international, Australian and Tasmanian craft beers to choose from. In Hobart, Manky Sally’s by Moo Brew is a nano-brewery with moody dive-bar vibes on historic Salamanca Place.
Back to nature
In verdant Pyengana, the Pub in the Paddock is a classic country watering hole perched amid rolling fields. Nearby, the Weldborough Hotel has all-Tasmanian craft beers, ciders and spirits in historic surrounds, conveniently located at the end of the forested Blue Tier mountain bike trail.
In the wild west there’s a grand hotel that’s been welcoming travellers for more than 120 years. For all its extravagance, including a heritage-listed blackwood staircase and the west coast’s largest bottle shop, the Empire Hotel is a boutique affair of just 20-odd character-filled rooms for overnight guests.
Brews with views
Among the island’s most charming drinking spots are a character-filled hotel with sweeping views over Port Huon Marina and the Huon River (Kermandie Hotel); an historic hotel with private jetty over kanamaluka / River Tamar (Rosevears Hotel); and a Mole Creek taphouse with arresting views of the Great Western Tiers (Wandering Trout).