Pubs Breweries and Bars

Northern Ireland Pubs, Breweries, and Bars
Northern Ireland

“I need the anesthetic qualities of the local fire water.”

anthony bourdain

Those who have enjoyed watching the American hit sitcom Cheers will remember the opening theme song “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” by Gary Portnoy. It speaks to what draws people to these establishments and the communities they form. We aren’t speaking of nightclubs or tourist-based party bars; we are talking about small personal places that bring locals to a neutral equalitarian territory to form social bonds. Where people gather to talk to others, find companionship, speak about their community, play games, and discuss world news. They do this over a drink and some food. It serves an important social function, a community center of sorts, where people can relax and let go of their day.

Nyhavn, Copenhagen Pubs, Breweries, and Bars

Our Pubs Breweries and Bars Discoveries

This page is dedicated to Pubs, Breweries, and Bars we have discovered during our travels overseas and in the US. Let us define a bit what each is known to mean.

Florence, Italy Pubs, Breweries, and Bars
Florence, Italy
  1. A Pub originates from the word Public house. As an example in many English pubs, the large majority of consumers will be people from the neighborhood, the village, or the parish, who gather around the bar or table. Pubs are often associated with beer but in most cases most alcoholic beverage may be available, though on rare occasions we have come across some that don’t serve wine. Pubs are usually known to serve food and the gastropub cuisine world has taken a life of its own. Both great drink and great food can be enjoyed at a Pub.
  2. A Brewery is a business that makes and sells beer. They have become very popular worldwide in recent years with the explosion of the microbrewery market. Many Breweries now have tasting rooms that allows guests to sample their products, and grab some food when gathering with friends. As these Breweries draw many people in, you will discover many expanding beyond beer making to Ciders, Meads and even Wine.
  3. A Bar, also known as a saloon, a tavern or tippling house, or a pub, is a retail business establishment that serves alcoholic beverages, such as beer, wine, liquor, cocktails, and other beverages. The term “bar” refers to the countertop where drinks are prepared and served, but then refers to the overall premises. They can be small places that draw in mostly locals or be on a the larger scale of a nightclub. They can vary from pretty bare bones to incredibly elegant.

Ireland was a great place to start

The Crown Liquor Saloon Belfast Northern Ireland Pubs, Breweries, and Bars
The Crown Liquor Saloon Belfast Northern Ireland

We first became drawn to local pubs in small historical villages during a trip to Ireland. Ones off the beaten path, and the simpler, the better. The atmosphere captivated us; watching the locals interact and share stories were heartwarming. If you enjoy people watching, it is a great venue to do so. But what we soon discovered was how welcoming and warm they were to these strangers in their world. Maybe they don’t need to know your name.

It often started with the bartender, who always loved to suggest local brews with a bit of story along with it. They genuinely seemed interested in where we were from and how we were enjoying the area. Next thing you know….they ask your name and introduce themselves. As they conversed with us, others began to join in. Along the way, we have met some lovely and kind people during these encounters. More importantly, we came to know the real people of the community, away from tourist spots and hotels. It has become a tradition we do everywhere we travel.

There were even times when local musicians were playing, as occurred in the small port town of Westport, Ireland. It was so personal and intimate to be part of their world that evening. We were worried we would feel like an intruder and not welcome. But that never occurred; it was the opposite. Over time, we have observed that we rarely see anyone inebriated in the places we go in Europe. People seem respectful and are considerate of others. This is their community; they may not want to be the talk of the town the next day. In the end, it seems all have fun, and isn’t that what matters!

Loving a good dark beer doesn’t hurt

Zagreb, Croatia Croatia Cuisine Pubs, Breweries, and Bars
Croatia Beer Zagreb

There is no doubt that we enjoy a cold draft beer, especially of a darker variety. We make a point of asking what is local and what they recommend. If they don’t have a local dark brew, we take what they suggest. We have tasted some fantastic beer, and then there was the Budweiser type, yuck!

Some of the food we have ordered in these establishments has been amazing. A food truck on site is trendy in the US, which likely keeps the quality high because ready to step the customers complain. In Europe and the UK, we have not observed food trucks yet. We have, though, enjoyed some incredible food along the way. It is often fresh and homemade. In one pub in a small town in England, the kitchen was already closed, and we were starving, which must have been obvious. The bartender offered to make us some simple sandwiches, and wow, they were delicious. Back to that kindness and welcome, we do adore.

We aren’t leaving out our homebase

Red Shed Brewery
Cooperstown NY

In each of our respective areas of the country, in the US, we seek out pubs, breweries, and bars when we travel for business or vacation. The experience is a bit different. We have found the bartenders and servers are warm and welcoming. They love when you show interest in their products and are a wealth of info. The sense of community and friendliness of the other customers we see in Europe is rarely there. It is still worth trying the delicious brews and checking out each brewery’s unique atmosphere and decor.

Come back often and check out how our list grows.

Pubs, Breweries, and Bars
Ostrich Bar in Slough England

We have collected quite a list over the years, and it will take a bit to catch up. The focus will be on the fun and unique Pubs, Breweries, and Bars we have come across during our travels at home and abroad. Places that exude charm and character while representing the local residents. Some you may have heard of some on our list; some may be centuries-old, innovative, and entertaining concepts or simply off-the-beaten-path tiny places. If we list it, we believe it is worth visiting if you are in the area.

Do you have suggestions and pictures of some of your favorite Pubs, Breweries, and Bars from your travels? Please share below in the comment section. It could be where we are heading next, and we would love to share it on the blog after.

Featuring Our Favorite Pubs Breweries and Bars

Red Shed Brewery and Taproom in Cooperstown, NY Random Finds: Back In the USA

Red Shed Brewery and Taproom Cooperstown, NY

As we travel our great homeland, we come across some fantastic gems. In Cooperstown, NY, we came across the fantastic Red Shed Brewery and Taproom. Handmade fresh craft beer made with local ingredients, pride, and passion.


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