It’s Official: People Don’t Even Go to Bars to Drink Anymore

By Bobby Box

If you were asked to describe the perfect pub, what would it look like? Would it be a dingy dive bar with craft beer and hipster clout? Or perhaps a familiar franchise with half-price wings on Wednesdays?

Well none of that matters now, because YouGov has released results of their new survey that asked Brits–a nation which definitely knows how to drink (though neither of us breaks the top ten in global alcohol consumption)–one very simple question: Which features would your ideal pub possess?

Surprisingly, people really don’t expect much from their watering holes. Results confirm that the most important feature in a pub is that it serves piping hot meals, according to 67 percent of the sample. But like, isn’t food a given? It certainly should be, if Jon Taffer from “Bar Rescue” has taught me anything. Beer gardens came in a close second with 63 percent, though in these parts we prefer calling them patios. Again, requesting that a bar have a patio is a pretty simple request; people don’t want to be stuck indoors when (or if) the sun ever shines down on British soil.

Next comes a feature that, when compared to pubs represented in our culture, is a bit unexpected. Fifty-two percent of respondents think every good pub should have a fireplace, which, in a dimly lit tavern, could definitely set the mood. The fourth most important feature for Brits was that the bar’s staff makes an effort to get to know their regulars and take interest in every customer than stumbles through their doors a la “Cheers” (51 percent). Rounding out the top five was another food-related item; fifty percent of respondents want a pub that, in addition to “meals,” sells “snacks.” Because let’s face it: Everybody likes destroying food when drunk. Everybody.

Some important features that somehow ranked lower on the list were that pubs serve cocktails, which recieved 35 percent of the vote (and honestly, what kind of pub doesn’tserve cocktails?), that it has TVs bolstered to the walls, with 17 percent, and that a pub should always have background music playing through the speakers, with 35 percent. I’m certain most Americans would prefer all three of these features before they’d ask for a fireplace.

Some of the stranger features–which can likely be attributed to cultural differences–on the wishlist were “bookcases full of books” (25 percent), “Victorian architecture” (16 percent) and “leather seats” (14 percent). When it comes to capacity, four percent of Brits like their pubs busy, 17 percent like things nice and quiet, and more than three-quarters prefer their pub be “somewhere in between.”

But perhaps most important is good alcohol, something the survey neglects. Not to worry though, because thousands of bars across America were recently examined by BevSpot, a bar management software company, which used their library of information to rank the most popular liquors across our nation and the results are more or less what you’d expect.

The most popular bar beers in America were: Bud Light, Corona and Miller. The most popular whiskies were: Jameson, Jack Daniel’s and Crown Royal. The most popular vodkas were: Tito’s, Ketel One and Grey Goose. The most popular rums were: Captain Morgan, Bacardi and Gosling’s. And finally, the top-selling tequila was Patron and gin was Hendrick’s.

Perfect or not, pubs do provide a good, and some could argue necessary, service. Research from the Department of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University found that people who drink at pubs with pals boast stronger friendships. This point was especially true for people who’d socially drink at their local watering hole. So get out there and grab a beer with a bud, and don’t bitch if the place doesn’t have leather seats and Victorian architecture.