Follow beer writer, Troy Burtch, as he explores the wonderful world of craft beer and the pubs that serve it. Great Canadian Beer is a place to come to catch up on beer news, read tasting notes, check out event listings, and for pub previews and reviews.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Why I Drink in A Pub

I once heard from a beer company that had research stating that Canadians consume 80% of their beer in their home or the homes of others while the remaining 20% enjoyed the perils of beer in a pub or bar.

Me, being a pub loving guy felt sick. I asked myself the question; “Why are so many people drinking alone at home?”

1. I tend to frequent pubs knowing that I am supporting local establishments that aren’t run by huge corporations. Private owners put their heart and soul into their pub and usually spend their life savings getting it off the ground. By frequently visiting these places I feel like I am helping them earn a living, helping them realize their goal of owning a successful business, and creating friendships with the most hospitable people.

2. Pubs are great for meeting new people and engaging socially in a relaxed atmosphere. I love going into a local or visiting a different cities’ local and starting up a conversation with the barkeep or a regular at the bar. Drinking beer is a social activity. I always said that if I were to start dating again (I am engaged so that won’t happen) the first date would take place at a pub. The good ones don’t play loud, obnoxious music so it’s easy to carry on a conversation. You wouldn’t have to spend a fortune and it would be a good test to see if she would enjoy the pub ambience (my fiancĂ© loves pubs!). Also, some people enjoy cafĂ©’s to sit and read with a cup of coffee. I prefer the pub. Especially one with a fireplace blazing on a cold winter day with a nice stout or IPA.

3. You can learn a lot about the city you are in simply by visiting their pubs. More often than not, pubs have newspaper clippings on the wall regarding something that happened in the city or features a display of artifacts from times past. All pubs tell a story when you walk through the doors and the pubs are usually owned by an individual that came from that city.

4. Obviously I go to pubs for the beer! I am a craft beer drinker by heart and I love nothing more than walking into a pub and seeing an eccentric beer menu. Now, I know 80% of beer drinkers drink their beer away from pubs, but what are they drinking? I don't agree with those that argue that spending $5 for a pint is too much when they can buy a six pack of Laker for under ten bucks. Laker is worth just that, a good beer in a pub is worth more because your getting more out of it. I know I wouldn’t spend $5 for a pint of Budweiser, it’s not worth it. I’d rather get a micro brew or import. But then again I say “drink less, drink better” just as Unibroue Brewing would say.

5. The great thing about going into a pub to have some food and drink is that you don’t have to clean anything up when you are done. That’s what tipping is for. If you have a group over to the house for some beers, you’re left with the undaunted task of cleaning up empty bottles, ash trays, do dishes etc. I also don’t have enough branded beer glasses for each different version of beer I drink and most pubs offer this service.

So there you have it. These are five reasons why I love going to a local with a group of friends. Embrace your locals, help support the local economy and enjoy each and every story you hear.


Anonymous said...

I gather from "Why I Drink in a Pub" that there is quite a difference in drinking in a 'pub'and drinking in your 'local bar'. The difference appears not only to be the type of beverage served but also the atmosphere. The pub seems to be a place to relax while the 'bar' is more of a public party.
Another difference could be the clientel. "Pub" patrons are a different type of drinker - maybe enjoying only 1 or 2 mugs of beer thus spending $5.00 on one beer is not questioned. Bar patrons are not there so much for quality as quantity - more bang for the buck.
I enjoyed your 'Why I Drink in a Pub' article but am curious how you became so interested in Great Canadian Pubs and Beer.

Troy Burtch said...

Thanks for your comments anonymous. I am glad that you enjoyed the article.
I became interested in pubs probably three years ago. I was sick of going to bars, restaurants and ordering the same beer time after time in their loud atmosphere. When I discovered craft beer, I sought out places that offer this change and most of the time, it was in a pub. I really became fixated on pubs after visiting the Henry House in Halifax. You have to go there to see it. Pubs offer the chance to talk, socialize, enjoy quality food and beer in a warm and relaxed cozy atmosphere where staff appreciate your business.

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