Thursday, 27 August 2009
Git’s guide to beer and pubs
This week the Morning Advertiser has a ‘blokes’ issue — and they asked me and several others (including Roger Protz, Pete Brown and Tom Stainer), what we, as men (well I think we’re all men), wanted from a pub (there are other manly features). You can read our responses in the current MA (you can read the whole thing if you register for the digital issue here), but here’s mine for the record.
Being a modern man, who is neither neanderthal or metrosexual, I would certainly not like a men only pub; I like women in the pub, men on their own are boring and borish but on the other hand I would like a pub which doesn’t harp on about beers for men, beers for women etc. Can I just have a public house in the broadest sense of the word — somewhere that is part of the community.
My ideal pub would be beer led, not just real ale, but also stock bottled and keg beers from USA craft brewers, Bavarian wheat beer producers and Belgian mavericks; a decent wine list and interesting spirits otherwise it would become just a haven for scruffy looking men with carrier bags.
I don’t want brass ornaments or mugs hanging down, well just a few of the latter, memories of the characters for whose exclusive use they were once for. Old black and white photos on the wall, plus some framed posters for beers and the odd French film to add class. By the dart board there would be a rogues gallery of good nights in the pub.
I would like food, but simple stuff, good sandwiches, soup, decent salad, no chips, maybe seafood such as prawns, mussels etc. Wooden floors, terracotta colours on the walls, a book case with good books, not those bought by the yard; newspapers — broadsheets and a local.
This is a place where conversation rules (no music unless a couple of itinerant folk musicians come in and play), this is a place where men can talk about who was caught with whom in the polo field or discuss the latest calamities that has happened to so and so. A civilised place, as a pub should be — one concession to modern mores though: a screen that can be brought down and big rugby matches watched whenever Wales or Ospreys are playing, or indeed Arsenal are on. Pretty straightforward really.
And not a copy of Nuts in sight. The picture is of a man in a pub.