There was an interesting back-and-forth in the Telegraph a few days ago, starting with Adrian Tierney-Jones’s observations on what makes a perfect pub, followed by Harry Mount’s next-day semi-rebuttal, where he characterizes most pubs as “a little inadequate” – prefaced by the admission that he doesn’t like pubs very much to begin with. The exchange seemed a little like one guy ruminating on what makes up an ideal IPA, while another one responds with “IPAs suck anyway and besides—I prefer wine coolers.”
I’ll let the real Englishmen fight this one out, regardless of the fact that my mother’s maiden name was Moneypenny. The comments on these stories—as you might expect—were as entertaining as the original content. A lot of readers worried that the future of the pub as an English institution was already in jeopardy, due to high taxes and regulations such as the smoking ban. Here were some of the best:
“Make sure there's Liver & Bacon on the menu, plus Stew and Dumplings, Pork in Cider and other such stodgy old favourites. And the stuffed head of a vegan above the bar.”
"Personally, what makes a good pub is no TV/gaming machines/juke box/musak, and a pint of well kept real ale served by a barmaid with a cleavage you could land a helicopter on."
"It's simple. Pubs are going out of business because they serve crap beer. This is because most landlords are generally very lazy and don't clean their pipes frequently so the beer sticks to your teeth.”