British Pub Culture
The pub, short for “public house”, is an important part of British life. In many parts of the world, pubs are just drinking places. But in Britain a pub can be a meet
ing place, an entertainment center, the focal point of a community. There are pubs everywhere in Britain. You can easily find a pub even if you are in a remote area. According to the research, 80 per cent of British people consider themselves 'pub goers', and over 15 million -- nearly a third of the adult population -drink in a pub at least once a week. There are many pubs in Britain, but they are different in size, style and feature. The center of large cities has the widest variety of pubs and they are the main visitor attractions. Some of them are very old. But times are changing and in recent years we can see many theme pubs and modern European-style bars. In suburbs and in the small towns, there are still many traditional country pubs. The atmosphere in these pubs is very friendly. And people talk with each other whiling drinking. There are many alcohol drinks in British pubs. Beer is the most popular in these pubs. Bitter is traditional British beer. It is quite strong and leaves a bitter taste in your mouth after drinking. Light ales contain fewer hops and are less alcoholic and these are popular in central and north-eastern England. Strong ales have a high alcoholic content and a strong flavor. Real ale is a kind of beer which brewed from natural material like hops, malted barley, yeast and pure water and stored in a wooden barrel until it is served. Stout is dark brown which is almost black and tastes a little bitter. The most popular example is the Irish drink called Guinness. You may need to wait some time for this drink. Don’t be surprised if the bartender starts serving someone else before finishing pouring your drink. Lager is a lighter-colored type of imported beer, and is normally served cold. When you order a drink, don't just ask for a glass of beer: ask for bitter, stout or lager, or ask for a particular brand name. Also there is a mixture of the beer and lemonade-shandy, and you should ask either a lager shandy or a bitter shandy. Another popular alcohol drink is whisky. It is a strong drink produced in Scotland and in Ireland. It is usually served with ice. You normally order a shot of whisky in England and Wales, or a dram in Scotland. Of course, there are some soft drinks in the pubs. Soft drinks may be still which is not fizzy or sparkling which is fizzy. Popular still drinks include still mineral water and fruit juices, especially
apple, orange or pineapple juice. The most popular sparkling drink is Coke. You may get either Coke or Pepsi when you ask for this. Bitter lemon is a similar drink that you can order which is served from a small bottle. Ginger beer is not alcoholic, despite the sound of the names. If you want to order a drink in a pub, you have to be 18 years old. But some pubs will allow people over 14 years old to go inside if they are with someone who is over 18, but they are not allowed to go to the bar or to have an alcoholic drink. Family pubs welcome people with children and have facilities for them. Pub etiquette is very important in a pub. Although there is no formal queue in British pub, the bar staff are skilled at knowing whose turn it is. You can attract attention of the staff, but there are rules about how to do this. Don not call out tap coins on the counter, snap your finger or wave like a drowning swimmer. Do not scowl or sigh or roll your eyes. And whatever you do, do not ring the bell hanging behind the counter--this is used by the landlord to signal closing time. The key thing is to catch the bar staff’s eyes. You could also hold an empty glass or some money, but do not wave them about. You can adopt an expectant, hopeful, even slightly anxious facial expression. If you 1ook too contented and complacent, the bar staff may assume you are already being served. Always say "please" and try to remember some things that British bar staffs hates. They do not like people to keep others waiting while they make up their minds. They don't like people standing idly against the bar when there are a lot of customers wanting for service. And they do not like people who wait until the end of the order before asking for such drinks as Guinness stout. Because it takes longer time to prepare for than other drinks. British pubs are not only for drinking, but also for fun and communication. You can have a good time in the pubs with such friendly and relaxed atmosphere. By learning from the British pub culture, we can know more about the British culture and know more about British people’s life.