- Real Ale – Or cask ale as we would call it, is available at almost all pubs. Commonly you’ll find six or eight of the major brands on tap and then there will be three beer machines pumping out real ale. Often you’ll find Fuller’s London Pride, Young’s Bitter, or Wells Bombardier available, among other British ales.
- Ordering at the bar – Whether it be beer or food, you order at the bar here. There is no pretense of table service and I much prefer this means of ordering. You go to the bar, order, pay, and have your beer shortly after. I much prefer this to table service where you are at the mercy of your server when it comes to ordering and settling up.
- Public Drinking – You can drink in public here. You can buy beer at a store and crack one on a train or in a park. You can order a beer at the pub and then walk out and enjoy it on the street if the weather is nice or the place is too crowded. I was shocked the first time a saw open alcohol in public, but only because it isn’t allowed back home, which isn’t to say it doesn’t happen anyway. People definitely drink in public at home, but either hide it or fear confiscation. Why bother with a silly law? People who want to drink in public will do it anyway. In the words of my aunt when told about our law, “but how do you have a picnic in the summer then?”
- Good Beer Guide – CAMRA UK publishes a Good Beer Guide to England detailing the many great pubs over here. I recently purchased this book only to find that there is also an iPhone app. The app uses the phone’s GPS to pinpoint your location and walk you to the closest approved pub. Considering that I don’t know a whole lot about my current whereabouts, this app is a revelation. My iPhone is now a good beer finder, wooo!