A man walks into a bar. Ouch. The poor bastard should have walked into a pub, because they're better on practically every level, at least according to our London correspondent/professional drinker Jason Allen.
He swears he doesn't mean to slander the whole U.S. drinking scene (the 50 states are producing some of the downright finest craft beers and cocktails in the world), but rather to remind us Americans of the glorious forums for drinking said goodness that they left behind.
It's intangible, but you can't beat it. Historically, pubs (or "public houses," to give them their full, point-backing-up name) have been a place geared towards social interaction, with the booze acting as a lubricant. Bars sometimes seem to be there to get you hammered first and foremost, with social interaction being an occasional, accidental by-product.
The average Brit teen is fine in his/her local pub around 16 years old. At a bar/the U.S. in general, even being 21 is no guarantee, unless you have an ID, a birth certificate, and a letter from the president saying it's cool for you to drink Buttery Nipples.
"Domestic" = European
Beers from incredibly-good-at-brewing countries like Belgium, Germany, France, etc., are all so commonplace, they're barely considered imports. In the U.S., anything other than domestic means $$$. In Britain, it's almost like the monks are enslaved in the basement.
On That Subject -- No Light Beer
There is a place for light beer, and that place is the refrigerator of a middle-class woman who stopped doing pilates but doesn't want anyone to know.
Pretty much all pubs have it. A lot of it. In fact, there's a pub in London called The Mayflower, from which the ship that carried the pilgrims set off was lent its name. In a way, this pub is the extremely disappointed father of all American bars.
When a pub is called something hilarious/awesome (Dirty Dicks? The Hung Drawn and Quartered? Both real, both literally hundreds of years old), it's not a cheap laugh, or a novelty, or a pun that gets old fast. Sorry, Amy's Winehouse.
Or, "how to save 15 percent to 20 percent off your bar tab every single time you visit."
There's still 8 more reasons why British pubs are better than the stateside bars, and they involve darts, TVs, and a certain refreshing apple beverage. Check it all in the full story on Thrillist.com!