Pubs can be found all around the world, but nowhere are they more a way of life than in Western Europe where they are arguably more popular than bars and replace almost entirely the need for ‘diners’, while bringing with them a particular charm and quirkiness that locals and tourists enjoy equally.
European pubs offer a place to drink during the evening or during the later hours/earlier hours of the morning that can provide relatively cheap alcohol, cheap food, sound levels appropriate for talking and a range of other activities. In England, Germany, Ireland and many other countries European pubs are an institution and a way of life and much of the lifestyle in these areas revolves around them.
The term pub means ‘public house’ and this is very much a part of British culture. In the typical British European pub you will find a bar with drinks that also sell peanuts and crisps and possibly ‘pub lunch’. Other activities in the pub might also include pool, a ‘quiz machine’ (an automated pub quiz that works like an arcade game), slot machines, darts and entertainment such as live bands or organised pub quizzes. During the days and evenings on weekdays people might come here for food and for a few drinks, whereas during the weekends they become more like bars and provide venues that lend themselves to precursors of a night out with louder music and darker lighting.
European pubs in Britain have recently changed to a degree and become more like bras. The chain of pubs ‘Weatherspoons’ that offers discount beer and food has dominated many of the pubs in cities and towns, and the smoking ban and new licensing laws mean that in England at least pubs are open different hours and don’t provide the refuge for smokers that they once did. Still they remain an important part of English culture and their popularity means that you can find many ‘English-style’ and ‘Irish-style’ pubs around the world. For very traditional pubs that serve local ale, pasties and mead, be sure to visit Cornwall in the South.
A beer garden however is a more continental type of European pub. Beer garden comes from the German ‘biergarten’ which is where the concept originates from and means that the pub is essentially an open air area where drinks and food are served. These kinds of European pubs are particularly popular in areas of Southern Germany such as Bavaria and they will normally be a part of a larger drinking establishment such as a beer hall. Though they are most common in Southern Germany however, beer gardens exist throughout Western and Eastern Europe and are particularly popular in warmer European climates.
For travellers looking for cheap yet authentic European food, or for those who want to get some local atmosphere, European pubs or beer gardens are a great place to start.
This post was written by admin on January 2011