Pubs are a central point of many British people's lives. This is the place where they meet their mates and relax after a day of work. A lot of people look for affordable places to eat out but overlook pubs.

I have never understood why Americans tend to overlook having a meal in a pub. It was not until I came across Margaret Meade's American Troops and The British Community: An Examination of the Relationship Between The American Troops and the British which was written in 1944 that I knew why. She says "To an American a British town is puzzling. He doesn't know what to do there. He doesn't know how to nurse a pint of beer in a pub all night. At home, he didn't go into bars except to drink, one drink after another. If he didn't want to drink, he went somewhere else.... There is no where to go except the pub, and when he gets there he thinks the only thing to do is drink."

You see my husband is English so perhaps I have a different view of pubs, we think nothing of going in and having a drink (which can be non-alcoholic) or staying for a meal. 

Some pubs are known at “tied” pubs such as Greene King and they serve beers particular to that brewing company. Weatherspoons drinks are generally cheaper. In Bury St. Edmunds, you can tour the Green King Brewery.
Some pubs belong to CAMRA, which promotes real ale made in microbreweries. There are over 700 in the UK. These beers are often extremely strong so check the alcohol content.
If a pub is a “Free House”, it is independent and the landlord is free to sell what beer he chooses.
The picture signs over the doors began because most people could not read so they had to identify themselves by an emblem The common pub names are:
·        The Crown
·        The Plough
·        The Red Lion
·        The Swan
·        The White Hart
·        The Royal Oak
The smallest pub in England is The Nutshell in Bury St. Edmunds and the largest pub is The Regal in Cambridge.
I though I would give some tips to help you enjoy your time in a pub:
  • Children
    • Are able to go to into some pubs but are not allowed to go to the bar remember its not a restaurant.
    • Must stay in the family area or play in the beer garden.
    • Should be well behaved and not mess with any games (pool, billards, snooker, etc).
    • Can only stay until a certain time like 7:00 p.m. and after that they are not allowed (the thought is they should be at home in bed).
  • When ordering food in a pub, first find a table. Figure out what you want and then look to see if they have table numbers. If they do, go up to the bar and order your food and drinks. They fix the drinks for you and bring out your food when ready. If it doesn’t have a number, the waitress might come to you but always look for signs.
  • You must order you drinks at the bar. Do not tip at a pub and bring cash, as most places will not accept cards. 
    • An English pint is 20 oz to the US 16 oz. Be careful as the beer in England has a higher alcohol volume than you will find in the States, even if you already drink a British beer. 
  • The English are quite reserved and may be there to relax, so generally don't try to strike up a conversation with them, but they are friendly and once they find out you are an American can be come chatty. 
 This is a rough guide of the beers you will find in England:
· Ale
· Bitter
· Amber/golden color
· Served at room temperature
· Lager
· Served at a cooler temperature
· Light, subtle flavor
· Stouts
· Guinness or Murphy’s
· Cider
· Alcoholic
· Distilled from apples

Check out to see how your local ranks at: British Pub Guide

I hope that this provides you with some information so that you can enjoy your local.

All the Best!

American to Britain