There are around 60,000 pubs in the UK (53,000 in England and Wales, 5,200 in Scotland and 1,600 in Northern Ireland). The oldest of them have been opened since the 11th century until today. Pubs are very important part of the British lifestyle. These are the places where people go to talk, eat, drink, meet friends and relax. The main thing that makes a pub different from a bar is the social aspect because people go there not only to pour out a glass but also to socialize. These are some kind of community centers. Therefore, there is no surprise that there are certain nuances that make British pubs an integral part of their culture.
Every Pub Is Different
The oldest pubs have retained their names as White Swan, Red Lion, or Crown. When explaining how to reach some place, people often use pub names as a landmark. Usually, the British pubs have a TV to watch football matches, while others also have pool tables or dart boards. It is common that stand-up comedians perform humor shows or karaoke competitions are held in them. Most pubs have two bars, one of which is less noisy to sit and chat while drinking your beer and the second bar is more loudly and crowded. Also, many pubs have gardens to sit in during the summer as well. Such are more common with families because children are free to run around the entire garden area and play. A group of friends usually does not order drinks for everyone separately as this is a part of pub culture that one person is paying for one round of drinks while another person will pay for another round. When a pub is full of service you may have to wait because people do not line up, but staff usually try to be the first to serve those who have waited the longest. It is recommended to have cash before going to any pub as only few of them accept card payments.
Pubs and Beer Are Inseparable
Most pubs are owned by some well-known and old British breweries, but they still sell a variety of beers both in barrels and in bottles. The most popular British beer is bitter, dark beer that should be served at room temperature in a glass. The lager type, which has a brighter yellow color and should be served cold, is also rapidly gaining popularity in the UK. All round the world popular Irish beer Guinness is dark and chocolate-flavored brewed in Ireland and is popular throughout the UK. Of course, it should not be forgotten that soft drinks are also sold in pubs, so you can go there with kids. Alcohol can be sold to people who are older than 18 years old, but it is also illegal to sell any alcohol to highly drunk customers.
British pubs are open almost 20 hours a day. When the bartender rings the bell, it means the closing time is coming. The first call means this is the last warning, the second means that the bar is closing.