Australia's hottest new bars for 2016

Australian bar enthusiasts have never had it better. Once almost exclusively a hallmark of Melbourne's laneways, small bar culture continues to spread rapidly throughout the other capital cities, thanks to a relaxation of liquor laws and some enterprising bar professionals.

Pubs are being forced to lift their game, or in some cases, small bar operators have moved into unloved pubs. And whether it's in beer, cider, wine or spirits, quality, provenance and craftsmanship continue to come to the fore.

Producers themselves are an active part of each city's tapestry, with many small breweries and now distilleries increasingly selling direct to punters at their own on-site bars.

It's an exciting time, but the revolution hasn't been without a few headwinds. Sydney's Kings Cross, once the country's most thriving entertainment precinct, was decimated by the lockout laws introduced two years ago, and bars in other cities have faced similar regulatory adversity.

But while late night drinking options may have suffered, the progress in other arenas is inarguable. The year 2015 welcomed some of the country's most impressive new bars, a trend that certainly did not abate in the final weeks of the year, with a spate of further openings right across the country.

It's not exhaustive by any means, but here's our list of some of the most exciting new bars you might want to seek out this summer.

Scroll through the gallery to discover the latest crop of must-visit bars around Australia.