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The Beginners Guide to Irish Pub Culture

The word ‘pub’ is short for public house and pubs can also be called ‘Bars’ or ‘Lounges’ in Ireland. Pubs remain a popular place for Irish people to mix and drink and offer visitors a chance to experience the essence of Irish social culture. Mercifully, there are still plenty of traditional style pubs in Ireland that don’t have a 50 inch TV screen blaring in the corner or rows of gambling machines beeping and flashing brightly. Your B&B hosts have all the local knowledge and will be happy to recommend the best local pubs to enjoy good drink and the craic, (which is an Irish slang word for chatting while listening to music). Who said Irish men can’t multi-task?!

Beginners Guide to a traditional Irish pub cultureTo the uninitiated, walking into a busy pub on a Saturday night can be quite daunting if exhilarating experience. The first thing you will probably notice is the volume of conversation and laughter, clinking of glasses and people loudly ordering drinks at the bar. A group of musicians may also be struggling to remain audible in one corner.

Start a Conversation

Whether in company or by yourself, it is relatively easy to strike up a conversation in an Irish pub with a perfect stranger. A good tip is to keep to light-hearted conversations themes and banter rather than serious discussion. Beginners Guide to Irish pub cultureIf someone asks you ‘how are you?, just answer ‘grand thanks’, and never ever offer your life story! One easy way to start a conversation is to comment on the weather which is forever changing in Ireland. Irish people also like to hear what the climate is like where you are from and will shake their heads in animated resignation if you tell them it is often warm and sunny.

The 'Round System'

The ‘rounds system’ while not as strong as in previous generations, is still an important aspect of Irish pub culture. If someone buys you a drink, then it is customary to buy them one back. That is why it’s almost impossible in Ireland to go to the pub for just one beer! The next round starts when the first person is about to finish their drink, even if you are only half way through your pint. Drinks or rounds are paid for at the bar after you order them. It is not necessary to tip the bar person, but if you have a good nigh, they will appreciate you offering the price of a drink, which they can have after work or take home as tips.

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Posted: 10 Apr 2014 by Claire Regan | with 0 comments

Tags: Ireland, Irish holiday, pubs

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