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19 Signs You Grew Up Drinking in an English Pub

England Student Work
by Ollie Duncombe Mar 25, 2015

1. You never go to a pub for “just the one.”

Rounds are expected. An awkward atmosphere of mangled maths and unnecessary extra work is created when someone chooses to pay separately.

2. And you’re suspicious of anyone who orders a “half pint.”

3. You’ve indulged in a pint of Real Ale.

It’s flat, warm, and bitter. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll enjoy it.

4. You believe every pub should have a pub dog.

From the Yorkshire terrier nestled patiently beneath his owner’s stool to the Springer Spaniel who wants to be everybody’s best friend — you have woven your way through a canine labyrinth at some point.

5. You know your Guest Ales.

Microbreweries are booming again in England. You’ve unknowingly become a connoisseur of ale — from the latest IPA by Trendy Brewing Co. to the Mysterious Porter by local brewery Hopster.

6. You lament the Smoking Ban.

Whether you smoke or not, there’s no denying that pubs have lost a smidgeon of atmosphere as a result. That true “pub smell” we fondly remember has gone. It’s a bummer of a law, but it’s here to stay.

7. You’ve found beer gardens to be beautiful things.

You’re in England, and it’s sunny. What more reason do you need? You join your fellow pasty pub dwellers in the garden and toast to the Sun God.

8. You’ve been punished by a few mysteriously dangerous and strong ciders.

Chalked onto a dusty blackboard at the back of the bar is a host of locally-brewed ciders, probably from someone’s bathtub. The alarmingly high percentage alone is enough to get your head spinning. It looks unassuming — clear as water and just as flat. Hold on tight and enjoy the ride.

9. You take your pub quizzes very seriously.

They’re the definitive tests of your all-round knowledge. You keep a keen eye out for those ‘checking a text,’ and treat them with suspicion. You know they’re secretly googling the answer to the question “What pattern shirt did Rick Astley wear on Top of the Pops, December ’89?” Get the phone away, you swine, and take a wild swing like the rest of us.

10. You’re not immune to bar etiquette.

Everybody knows their place, and so does the barman / lady. You acknowledge the order of the bar — conscientious queuing is what we do best.

11. You occasionally venture into uncharted, unfamiliar pub territory.

You’ve never been in the area, but you’re parched. You decide ‘The Rusty Axe’ seems an appropriate watering hole and settle down with your pint. The few inhabitants have all turned towards you with disapproving stares, but there is no chance you’re abandoning your beverage. You trooper.

12. What’s more perfect than that taste of the first pint of the day?

Enough said.

13. You’ve been involved in a “lock-in.”

The greatest of endurance tests (and the best choice for a zombie apocalypse). Where the atmosphere varies from hushed concealment of your private gathering to the fever pitch of a free bar.

14. And you’ve undertaken a “pilgrimage.”

Three pints clasped between both hands in a holy trinity, two bags of crisps clenched between gritted teeth of determination. You confidently stride back to your table. You dodge rogue Spaniels, bustle through crowds and triumphantly plant the goods down. Before heading back to pick up your own pint.

15. You’re “handy” at pub sports.

Whether it’s snooker, pool, or darts. All great future champions once honed their skills in a pub. You will have almost certainly tried your arm at darts. Until the game abruptly ends when you lodge one into the wall, narrowly missing a punter.

16. You respect the landlords, even if you’ve never spoken to them.

Though they’re wizard-like creatures who rarely get involved with trivial matters like pouring pints. Landlords lurk in the shadows, patrolling the lines. You know, should anything serious happen, they are your go-to option.

17. You know and cherish at least one “regular.”

These are the ever present, fabled souls who are the very face of the pub they represent. A breed close to extinction; they must be cherished. Once you have earned their trust, you will forever have pub sanctuary.

18. You rue last orders.

The bell rings. The heart sags.

19. You have an unwavering affection for your local.

The Bat & Ball, The White Hart, The King’s Head, The Red Lion, The Tickled Trout — there is undoubtedly more than one in the country, but you will always have your regular haunt. The place where all of life’s problems can be solved over a cold (or warm) pint, here’s to the English pub!

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