Americans Cannot Comprehend The British Concept Of ‘Going To The Pub’

by : Julia Banim on : 06 Sep 2021 13:50
Americans Cannot Comprehend The British Concept Of 'Going To The Pub'PA/Universal Pictures

An American Reddit user has been left utterly flabbergasted by one of the greatest British traditions: going to the pub.

Although, for us Brits, there is absolutely nothing unusual about heading to the pub after work or in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, it would appear this esteemed pastime doesn’t translate quite as naturally on the other side of the pond.


The perplexed Redditer took to Ask the United Kingdom – ‘the #1 subreddit for Brits and non-Brits to ask questions about all topics around the United Kingdom’ – to query something I personally had no idea was even in dispute: ‘Is ‘going to the pub’ a real thing in the UK?’

Person pouring pint (Pixabay)Pixabay

The post noted how UK-based TV shows and movies often make it appear as though British ‘people ‘go to the pub’ fairly regularly and it’s a normal thing to do’, and asked whether or not this is ‘really how it is’.

They continued:


For example, here in the US if you go to bars multiple times a week and mentioned this to people they might think you are an alcoholic – which is fair because at a lot of bars the only people that are regularly there during quiet times really are alcoholics (as in they are drunk a lot of the time).

But it seems like in the UK people might go to a pub regularly and not be an alcoholic. What’s the reality, do actual UK people “go to the pub” once or twice a month usually? Or do people really “go to the pub” all the time?

In an edit, the poster clarified that they ‘understand pubs are a real thing’, but noted how – in 90s movies – Americans are constantly depicted as hanging around the mall, when in fact they will usually only go a couple of times a month.

I myself was baffled by this admission in turn, having long believed that all American teens naturally flock straight to the mall after school in gaggles of three, slurping milkshakes and plotting various Shakespearean escapades.

a British pub (Pixabay)Pixabay

The Reddit-user was soon inundated with answers illustrating the integral role the pub plays in British life, with one commenter describing such institutions as ‘cultural hubs’ which cannot really be compared to anything in the US:

If you have a good local boozer then you end up knowing everyone in there and you can pop down there when you’re bored because you know they’ll be someone in there you can chat to for a bit. I bloody LOVE the pub and don’t fully trust people who don’t!

Another wrote how they have frequented their own local boozer ‘four or five times a week’ for years:

I know everyone in there and it is a community hub. We share celebrations and commiserations, look out for each other and it can operate as a home away from home. I bloody love our pub.


A recent survey found that, as of December 31, 2020, 28% of British adults reported frequenting the pub on a fortnightly basis for food and drinks, while 10% visited pubs once a week or more. Interestingly, more than half of respondents said they ‘never’ went to the pub.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Life, Now, Pub, Reddit


  1. u/throwaway0891245/Reddit

    Is “going to the pub” a real thing in the UK?