The Best Places To Smash A Precious Bev During The AFL & NRL Grand Finals

Apparently there’s some sort of twin major sporting events on this weekend. Anyone heard of this?

If you’re still umming and ahhing about your plans regarding the AFL and NRL Grand Finals this weekend, it’s ok; decision anxiety is a real thing, and no one’s gonna look down on you if you’re not sure of where the frothies are flowing. Maybe you’re visiting from interstate. Maybe you’re venturing into a new part of the city to soak up some extra atmosphere. Maybe your plans just fell through and you’re stinging for somewhere to crack tube.

Regardless, picking the right venue to watch the big game(s) is an art form, and getting it right is crucial to taking the day from good to great.

We’ve scoured the country and found you some of the best venues to watch on while canning on. It’s a good guide. You’re gonna wanna take notes.


AFL – Swan Street, Richmond

Let’s face it, on Grand Final Day practically all of Melbourne becomes one giant pub. You can barely swing a (Geelong) cat without hitting a screen showing the game. That said, the epicentre of the action (assuming you’re not actually going to the game, of course) is gonna be on and around the Swan Street strip that runs between Punt Road and Church Street.

At one end of the yellow and black stretch of road, the Tigers’ training home of Punt Rd Oval is gonna be jam-packed with fans who couldn’t get into the ‘G watching on a big screen. But throughout the area there’s countless pubs with ample screens that’ll be full-to-bursting come Saturday, so if you’re keen to get amongst the action we suggest getting down there early.

Our pick of the bunch? The Corner Hotel. Their giant band room is being converted into a viewing area. Then they’ve also got their usual front bar. And the (sadly already booked out) beer garden upstairs. And they’ve casually decided to chuck a massive party in their car park as well, featuring an enormous LCD big screen and bands playing immediately after the game. By the looks of things, they’ve stocked up accordingly.

NRL – The Sporting Globe

While the fever for league isn’t quite as rampant in the Victorian capital, the city is still more than prepared to get squarely around the mighty Melbourne Storm this Sunday evening. And while you could choose to hit up Federation Square with a throng of other NRL fanatics, if you’re hunting a more pub-like setting then The Sporting Globe in, you guessed it, Richmond is your best bet.

The game will be shown on an eye-squaring 50+ screens, with sound, extremely solid food (the wings are top notch) and the smell of the chaos of the day prior’s proceedings still lingering in the air. Nothing better, really.

Like this, but with more purple instead of yellow and black.


AFL – Adelaide Oval

Crows fans not heading east for the big clash on Saturday can rest easy knowing that practically the entire city of churches is awash in red, gold, and navy blue (except of course the Port parts of town, who are all watching on through gritted teeth).

The largest gathering of Crows fans outside of Melbourne is gonna be in the surrounds of Adelaide Oval, which will be putting on a spread for fans who wanna be near the team’s home ground as they chase glory in Victoria. The Adelaide Oval Live Site is gonna beam the game live across several extremely big screens, and a whole mess of food and drink vendors are gonna be available to quell the footy-related anxiety. Better still, it’s free. You won’t have to fork over a dang cent.

If it’s more of a pub vibe you’re chasing, The Alma Tavern in Norwood is about as linked to the Crows as any other building in town, given that Tex WalkerRory SloanePatrick Dangerfield, and club legend Mark Ricciuto are all part-owners.

NRL – The Bunker

For better or worse, Adelaide simply does not give a coloured stuff about rugby league; that tends to happen when you’re situated far beyond the Barassi Line limits.

So while your options for NRL Grand Final pub viewing in the South Australian capital are fairly slim, The Bunker Sports Bar just around from the Rundle Mall is one of the few that’s absolutely guaranteed to be showing it, and showing it with sound.

It’s certainly not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it ticks both boxes of “having the game on” and “beer taps nearby,” so here’s to it.


AFL – The Courthouse Hotel

Blessed is the pub that not only tunes every TV in the building into the Grand Final come game day, but trucks in extra TVs specifically for the event.

The Courty, an institution in Newtown, is doing just that. A whole swathe of screens already installed at the pub is being bolstered by a buttload of extra ones being wheeled out into the pub’s extremely good beer garden. Couple that with a good, honest, old-fashioned pub vibe and more schooners than a yacht race and you’ve got a recipe for a shithot Grand Final day. Even if the Giants and the Swans both fell short of making it through.

Added bonus? It’s dog friendly. So the potential for lotsa good boys running around is extremely high.


NRL – Kings Cross Hotel

There’s only one thing better than a pub with a buncha TV screens showing the footy, and that’s one that anchors the room around a fuck-off footy projector.

The iconic Kings Cross Hotel is as good an epicentre for league’s day of days as you’re ever likely to see in Sydney. Big screens, big sound, a solid menu, and enough froth dogs to get you well and truly on your way through the public holiday eve night.

Sydneysiders, you don’t have to work on Monday. Might as well turn it up to 11 and try to forget the fact that the Cowboys somehow rolled their way through New South Wales’ finest from eighth spot on the ladder. Even without JT. Hug your local Eels fan, folks. They’re in need.


AFL – The Pineapple

In the shadow of the Gabba, a whisker away from Brisbane Lions HQ, lies The Piney: Almost inarguably the best dang AFL pub in town.

And true to that title, the bar is turning it on for Grand Final Day this weekend. With the weather set to be a balmy 32 degrees come Saturday, the pub is throwing its doors open from 11am, before showing the big game across a plethora of big screens in four big areas of the hotel.

The good gang are putting on a hell of an AFL-themed spread throughout the day, and there’s live entertainment set to kick off the second the Premiership Cup is raised later in the day. You cannot possibly go wrong.

NRL – The Caxton

While the AFL has the Piney in Brisbane, the NRL has The Caxton. A league stronghold in the throes of Lang Park’s imposing visage, the Caxton is practically part of the furniture as far as Brisbane pubs go. Lotta bloody history in them walls.

And because one good turn (the AFL) deserves another, come Sunday the pub is absolutely going bananas, throwing a car park party with a giant screen, food trucks, pop-up bars and giveaways out the wazoo.

With DJs pumping tunes all day and a band set to kick things up a notch after the game, Broncos fans (if they can stomach it) will have plenty to occupy themselves with while their Cowboys counterparts chew their nails off watching the game. Do yourself a favour and go suck down a Milton Mango or two.


AFL – Inglewood Hotel

Usually an Eagles nest through and through, the Inglewood routinely picks up gongs in WA for being Perth’s best sports-watchin’ pub, and it’s for a bloody good reason.

The bar and lounge doors are being thrown open at a bleary-eyed 9am over in the west, meaning bacon sarnies and hairs-of-the-dog are practically mandatory.

If you’re feeling particularly fancy, for a cool $89 you can secure yourself a comfy reserved seat, a crackin’ feed at lunch time, and a bunch of free drinks to boot. But if that’s a little luxurious for your liking, everywhere else in the joint is free as. No excuses, really.

NRL – The Paddo

Perth, much like Adelaide, could not give two shits about the NRL. And they care significantly less ever since the Reds left town back in ’97. That said, if you’re keen to watch the Storm and the ‘Boys butt heads come Sunday arvo/evening, then hooley dooley get yr rear end to The Paddo in Mount Hawthorn.

Not only is it a cracking sports pub that’ll more than likely chuck the sound on during the big game, but they’ve got a specialty beer menu a mile long. So while Melbourne and North Queensland duke it out at ANZ Stadium, you can take your tastebuds on a trip around the world, all without leaving your barstool.

Not a bad deal at all, if you ask us.

Enjoy the weekend, folks! It’s gonna be an absolute cracker.