IF THERE’S one thing synonymous with the island of Ireland, it’s the good old-fashioned Irish pub.
Whether we like it or not, when it comes to bars few, if any, do it quite like the Irish.
So much so, in fact, that you can visit pretty much any major city in the world and the chances are that somewhere you’ll find an Irish pub.
Some might claim to be more Irish than others but each will have the hallmarks of an Emerald Isle boozer from the setup of the bar itself to the presence of a certain Irish stout on tap.
While in some instances, these Irish pubs may be part of a cynical marketing ploy, there are several ways to spot the authentic bars among the impostors.
Things that make the Irish pub experience such an irresistible one that drinkers old and new keep coming back for more. Here at 11 things everybody loves about an Irish pub.
Every good Irish pub has a story behind it. A sense of history and community that makes the experience that bit more fascinating and fulfilling than the average modern day bar.
Proper Irish pubs attraction a particular type of patron. One that’s willing to share a joke or a chat with their fellow drinker, whether they are a local or newcomer.
From the bar stools and framed pictures right down to the wooden paneling adorning the walls, there's something warm and familiar about that timeless look.
Whether it's a jukebox laden with old Irish classics from the Pogues and such, or a trad band performing in the corner, Irish music adds something magical to a few jars on a night.
So much more than agony aunts and uncles, Irish pub staff are a special breed, always happy to listen and laugh as you regale them with your woes. Always friendly but firm when they need to be.
The true test of any Irish pub. The pour of a good pint of Guinness requires skill, precision and patience. It takes craft and practice but the results are pure, velvety perfection. Drink it in.
The Irish pub experience isn't one filled with burgers, chips or hot pies. Instead, it's all about the snacks or, more specifically, the crisps. Tayto or Kings. Cheese and onion. Perfection.
Football, horse racing, rugby, boxing, hurling, GAA. The true Irish pub experience is one that includes a TV in the corner broadcasting whatever live sporting event is on offer with an Irish angle.
As the evening draws to a close, the whiskey comes out. Proper Irish pubs offer a distinctive array of homegrown spirits that extends well beyond Jameson. Still, a drop or two of that goes down just as well.
Irish pubs often boast a special, small, secluded area of the bar, closed off from the main drag, for friends to enjoy close chats in and a bit of peace away from the ramble. A pub confessional, if you like.
No one has a sense of humour quite like the Irish, so it's hardly a surprise that their pubs possess the same pervading sense of fun. The best nights are usually reserved for our boozers.