British Culture Etiquette and Customs in the Pub

This video is about customs and traditions involved in drinking at the pub, a great British institution. Most importantly, this video is about when it is right to pay for the drinks and when it is ok not to.This video is about customs and traditions involved in drinking at the pub, a great British institution. Most importantly, this video is about when it is right to pay for the drinks and when it is okay not to.

In the past it was typical for groups of men to buy drinks in ‘rounds’. A round is when you buy a drink for everyone you are sat with and everyone takes it in turns to buy a round, so you will get your money back in drinks. It was considered a polite, generous, friendly and social way to drink. It was also a time when, even though wages were lower, the cost of beer was considerably less compared to the amount people earned. In 1966, 50p an hour was the average wage, but 50p would buy you 5.5 pints of beer in a pub. In comparison today, £6.08 an hour is the minimum wage and would buy you 1.5-2 pints of beer in the pub!

Today, people drink in smaller rounds. In the past, beer and wine was weaker, so a big round with 8 people would make people drunk but not too drunk. Today, 8 drinks would make us very drunk. Starting a round is like starting a social contract and very few people want to agree to drink eight drinks- it is too much. It is also too expensive in this day and age.

Young people often don’t buy rounds, and buy a drink for themself. This is acceptable behaviour. Buying a small round, however, is a sign of friendship and trust. We feel embarrassed about buying a drink for our self because we remember our parent’s generation buying large rounds. So we buy rounds of two or maybe three drinks at a time. It’s impolite to refuse drink but it is more impolite to not return a drink, so make sure to mention if you cannot afford to return a drink.