Anyone who thought the beer blogosphere was getting a bit stale needs to read this superb post by Mark Dredge on Pencil and Spoon entitled RIP: the Pub. As I’ve mentioned in the comments, it bears a number of similarities to a piece I wrote a few years ago called The Death of the English Pub. He sums up the attitude to pubgoing of a twentysomething beer enthusiast and his cohort extremely well – a generation younger than me which seems to have got out of the habit of regular pub visits.
I was struck by this particular paragraph:
Going into a local after work - at least where I am, away from a big city and in a small town - feels more wrong than right, more anti-social than social. The chaps at the bar have been there too long, it’s almost empty, it’s a realm of misbehaviour - drinking is bad for you, didn’t you know? And walk into a local pub and take a look around – there won’t be many people in their early 20s just sitting there and enjoying a beer. Call me bigoted, but if there are some then they aren’t likely to be the sort of guys who you’d feel comfortable socialising with, are they?This sums up something that I had been mulling over, that going to the pub, just for a drink, away from the obvious weekend busy times, has over the past ten or fifteen years has become somehow less respectable than it used to be. The respectable pubs of my youth have now become dining pubs, and where proper pubs do survive, all too often you go in them and find them dominated by a slightly seedy all-male drinking school clustering around the bar, with very few other customers.
This may not chime with everyone’s experience, but I’m just reporting what I’ve encountered. It seems that regular pubgoing is becoming no longer socially acceptable.