Friday, 13 November 2009

The English Public House

One of my favourite pastimes is enjoying a pint or two in my local pub, The George.

Having travelled to many parts of the World, including North America,Europe,The Gulf States,Singapore and Australia, there is nothing quite like an English pub.

Some of these hostelries are ancient indeed and have always been the hubs of their communities, satisfying the need of the working man to imbibe on the way home from work.

In Alnwick, to service the needs of a thirsty population of some 8000 souls, we have fifteen pubs, not many, I hear you say, but we get by, nonetheless!

Most countries around the World drink a substance we refer to as lager, which is usually served so cold it gives your stomach frostbite!

This stuff appears not to have any noticeable flavour other than a kind of metally taste that reminds me of new fillings!

In the British Isles and I will include Ireland here, you can by draught bitter, which is hand pulled from a beer engine and thus contains no gas, is a warm brown colour and is full of flavour.

I might add that it is served generally at around room temperature and you don't need many of these before you lose control of your bottom jaw!

There are literally hundreds of different brews, all with their own distinct taste.

So getting back to the point, in this country our social life tends to revolve around the pub, rather than in our homes.

The pub is a great leveller, where people from all walks of life congregate and thus it is a microcosm of our little island.

We discuss politics, music, sport, work, sex( although the English are hardly experts on this subject! ), tell irreverent stories and basically put the World to rights.

Every pub has it's philosopher who has an answer for everything, yeh that's him in the corner, the boring bastard!

Towards the latter half of the evening the language degenerates into pure Pre-Shakespearian Anglo-Saxon.

At the finish, a merry time, having been had by all, we wend our circuitous route home and live to fight another day!


  1. Sadly I chose to live in one of those countries that wouldn't know a decent draught if it up and slapped them in the face. I am destined to drink lager, much to my chagrin. But the temp is okay, being an expat-Kiwi, I enjoy beer that has just a hint of ice as it is poured. I get bemused smiles from my Brazilian drinking companions when I inform them that their "beer" (and I use the term loosely) is only for ladies and those that bat for the other team.


  2. Hi Simon, I have difficulty in getting a blog to you. Don't know why!

  3. Sounds wonderful! I love that kind of conviviality. Here in the US, a bar is a place where people go to "score" sexually, get drunk or start a fight. The English or Irish pub I've always imagined to be more related to the Greek stoa or the French cafe where people go for amiable company and to share some scintillating conversation.

  4. Sadly the English Pub is a fast fading species due to a number of reasons. The smoking ban, white van man and the beer runs to France, cheap Supermarket beer etc.

    My siste worked in a Club for many years. My youngest nepthew and his two business partners are the land lords of "Drum & Cymbals" here in Hull.

    Regards, Trevor.