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Beat's Guide to a Dickhead-proof Grand Final Weekend

Everyone can get behind an underdog. More specifically, everyone can get behind a pack of Bulldogs that haven't won a flag in 62 years. Even if you haven't kicked a Sherrin since your ill-fated attempt at Auskick, there's never been a more exciting year to jump on the bandwagon and catch the big game. Here's our roundup of the best places to do exactly that. Don't worry, you won't find any second-rate sports bars here. Just killer, easy going venues that are kicking goals with good beer, good music and good vibes.  

Cherry Bar 
Footy 'n' beers go together like rock’n’roll. Maybe live music and sport have more in common than we first thought after all? Cherry Bar have two things to celebrate when The Big Dance rolls around, throwing a big ol' bash to celebrate both The Granny and the 12th anniversary of AC/DC Lane's hallowed christening. Live music will be kicking off with Zombitches, From Oslo and James Moloney and The Mad Dog Harrisons. Twelve clams will get you in the door, running from 8pm through to 5am.
 
Northcote Social Club
You best believe Northcote Social Club are getting around the footy. They'll be fitted out with a whopping total of seven screens televising all the game day action so you can position yourself perfectly, whether it be in front of the two massive screens on the deck, or on one of the bean bags located front and centre of the projected game in the bandroom. Keeping the backline in check, the kitchen will be plating up a host of dishes dedicated to Aussie rules. Oh, and hydration? You know the drill. Safe to say they've got enough beers on tap to sedate Barry Hall for a week. First bounce from 11am.
 
The Corner
Grand final day at The Corner is going to be a belter. As glorious as Dustin Martin's neck tattoo, you'll be flying higher than Fev at the '09 Brownlow with this mighty fine celebration. All the game day festivities and main event will be screened throughout the venue including in the front bar and in the bandroom. Food and drinks specials will be on offer all day and are sure to keep you in prime game-day condition from kick-off to kick-ons. Strap on your boots folks, this is set to be a biggun. 
 
Brunswick Hotel
The Brunswick Hotel Grand Final day is not just a celebration of the game, it's also a day to drink, be merry and enjoy the tasty musical fruits that the Brunswick puts on. The match will be screened both live in their beer garden and in the bandroom on all the big screens. Expect all the atmosphere you want from the game, without cowering in a testosterone-filled pokies venue. For the non footy lovers, some of the best bands that the Brunny has to offer will be kicking off from 6pm and going until the wee hours of the morning, with DJs bringing the party until 5am. Get down to experience Keggin, Black Dog, The Black Alleys, Pegbucket, The Dead Amigos, LevitatingChurches, The Balls, and a whole lot more.
 
Labour in Vain
Being an iconic Brunswick Street venue for rock'n'rollers, locals, and those who do things a little differently, it’s only expected that Labour in Vain will be throwing a rager of a party for Grand Final Day in a style all of their own. After the game, catch Flour at 7pm and Warped at 8pm live in the front bar, along with DJ Wayne Slattery before and after the bands. Elsewhere, get on their draught beers, wine and spirits before stumbling onto the deck. After all, who doesn’t deserve a drink or ten on Grand Final Day? By the way, it's totally free. If that doesn't get you keen for a game of footy, then nothing will.
 
The Evelyn
The Evelyn is smashing out Grand Final Eve with their Chewy On Ya Boot event – a night filled with dreamy garage pop tunes, high calibre live electronics and a curated wax selection that’ll open up your musical appetite for more. Catch Dreamin’ Wild, Way Dynamic and TEAL AV along with Norachi + Miris, Jack Danzey and Josh Keys & Ray Borner spinning some vinyl. It’s only $7 to get in. Coach's tip: make a beeline for the bar, serving up full strength beer all night long.
 
Post Office Hotel
On this groundbreaking Grand Final Day the Post Office Hotel is welcoming back rock legends Spoonful and top notch blues and rockabilly band Louis King and the Liars Klub to take things home after the Doggies bite the Swans heads off and bark their way to the top. With 21 years of sweaty pub gigs under their belt, Spoonful is just the act for the job. Meanwhile, Louis King and the Liars Klub have performed with the likes of B.B King, Buddy Guy, Jimmie Vaughan and Screamin’ J Hawkins. Not bad, eh? Make sure you get on down for this epic day of footy, beer and good ol' rock'n'roll.
 
The Curtin
The Curtin are planning a belter of a Grand Final event, launching the game on their massive screen and huge PA, so you can keep one eye on the score at all times. Bask in the glory of a dickhead-free zone with drink specials, a halftime handball comp, sweeps, and a post-game set from PBS' DJ Crispi – who will be spinning his favourite football tunes to keep things rolling. Whether the Doggies win or lose, at least you'll be hanging out at The Curtin. Warm up from noon when the venue opens.
 
Bendigo Hotel
It's a no-nonsense Grand Final session at The Bendigo with $4 Tinnies, $10 Jugs, $6 shots at half time, a free BBQ and of course, a big screen at the front bar to witness the game. Plus, things will be heating up with a ping pong showdown too. What's not to like? Get up there, Cazaly.
 
Penny Black
The Penny Black will be blaring the game nice and loud in their beer garden so that you can get pumped while devouring the food and drink specials on offer. There’ll be $15 all-day breakfast with a bevo, $15 jugs of Stone & Wood and $15 espresso martinis flowing. Want more? It’s free entry all day and night. Just give them a call to secure your prime position. After the game, Penny will be hosting some killer live bands and DJs to keep the finals fever raging all night long.
 
Preston Fresh Hood Market 
Preston's heart of all things beer, beats and eats. This ripper of a hub is throwing up a big screen from midday 'til 10pm to bring you all levels of the footy action with none of the entry costs. Want a cheap beer when you support your team? Be as creative as you like when you throw on your footy colours and nab some pints of 3 Ravens lager for a very cool $5. There's also delicious finger lickin' goodness in the form of $5 fried chicken wings from Henrietta's Chicken shop all day to boot. With a relaxed atmosphere and a friendly vibe, you'd be hard pressed to find a better local on the northside where you can catch the game, sink some beers and soak in some good vibes all round. 
 
The Retreat 
Live and loud throughout the pub at The Retreat. There's massive screen in the band room and two TVs in the beer garden. Plus, there's free party pies and prize giveaways at half time. Capping it off comes $12 burgers, $5 meat pies and a Grand Final BBQ in the beer garden plus $5 tinnies available all afternoon with $12 jugs of globe draught all day and night. Get in early to save yourself a spot in front of the big screen and settle it for some killer live music. 

Got any other hot tips on where to enjoy a froth and catch the game? Let us know in the comments.