how to order draft beers in a bar?
what are the most common types of tap beers served in most North American bars? ordering drinks in bars really gives me a headache. it is easier in the restaurants/cafes -- at least I can pick from a menu.
what kind of alcohol drinks do u guys usually order?
It depends on the bar. Bars that don't care about beer on tap will just have a couple of domestic brands on tap. Bars that specialize in draft beer will have a dozen or more, often imports or microbrews.
You can easily tell the two apart: in the latter, if you ask what beer they have on tap, they will hand you a printed list and go serve someone else while you read through it to make your selection. In the former, they will squint and say, "Bud or Coors, pal?"
You might think that ordering a beer in a bar, is no more difficult than buying mineral water in a shop.
In practice, buying beer in a pub, can be a little bit more tricky, because it is a slightly intimidating environment.
As I was walking past, Mike's famous Fish and Chips, I decided to buy some Fish and Chips. I went to the entrance, paid, I then waited to twenty minutes without saying anything before I was served.
The reason why I waited so patiently was because there was a queue of other people before me, and I did not particularly want to stand out, and make a fool of myself.
The problem was, the Fish and Chip shop had a number of telephone orders, and they were completing the telephone orders first.
I think that going into a Bar or a Pub, can be a little bit intimidating for similar reasons. Often it is not the best place to discuss the merits of different types of beer etc.
Sometimes it is not even possible to be heard. In which case, the best thing to do, is to pick one of the draft beers on offer, select a number using your fingers, and say 'x' pints please, pointing to the pump in question.
<<ordering drinks in bars really gives me a headache.>>
That's a good one! I'll have to remember that next time I wake up with my head banging- "yeah, I've got a headache through making so many choices last night, it's not easy buying 12 pints I can tell you!"
I feel an intruder in this thread as I know zilch about American bars except from what I've seen in films and TV programs like "Cheers". They don't look much like British pubs at all by and large, in various ways, so it's difficult to comment on how you would go up to the bar and give your order in America. What I do know is that the guy behind the bar is a bartender, a term we never use in our pubs.
I'll explain the difference between a pub and a bar here in the UK a wee bit further on. Does the term "bartender" apply to female as well as male attendants (for want of a better word?) Here it's mostly barman or barmaid (even though that sounds a wee bit old fashioned, but that's what a lassie behind the pumps is called). In the olden days they were called serving wenches which sounds horrible now, but they used to go scurrying between the bawdy, raucous customers and the beer flagons as they didn't have beer pumps (on tap) in those days. Now the only serving wenches only come to you to bring you food which you've ordered (practically all pubs serve food of all kinds). And it may not be a wench that serves you thus...it could be the barman or some other male from the kitchen.
Nowadays when you enter a pub you either go straight to the bar to give your order (which mostly happens especially with younger people anyway, whether male or female, or with females they may well find a table or a nook and cranny somewhere that's free then one or maybe a couple of the girls will go to the bar to order whatever they want.) There is no discrimination at all between males and females in British pubs, although you generally don't find all that many women who go into a pub alone to be honest, but it's not all that unusual and it doesn't carry the same stigma as it apparently did at one time. I believe that in America a woman who goes into a bar on her own is there for one thing only, but as I say, the character of an American bar is quite different from that of your average British pub, which is much, much more of a social facility and the focal point of most communities be it the village pub or a city centre pub, and many are family oriented. That in a way demonstrates the difference between the British (and European and American attitude to alcohol.
A pub is never referred to as a "bar". All pubs have their own names, many because of historical connections, and many pubs have strange or unusual names, like The Slug and Lettuce, the World Turned Upside Down, the Rat and Ferret, the Pickled Newt, the Toad and Tulip, the Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and so on and so on...
The pub itself usually contains two or more separate bars...ie separate rooms with bars where you go to order your brew or poison. As I say, no serving wenches, except in the restaurant (many pubs have seperate eating areas) or if you order food in the bars.
I can't see the hangup with ordering at the bar of a pub.....it's no big deal for us that's for sure, and "headaches" don't come into it at all, except if there is a crowd of people all standing at the bar and you have to fight your way through, a bit of a nuisance for me as I am a wee bit shorter than your average bloke but that's a problem I've learned to live with. Ha! Anyway, you just ask for what you want. British pubs have a whole range of beers on draught, and these can differ from one locality to another, as local breweries produce their own nectar, so if you're used to them, you just ask for what you want. Here in Scotland we have our own range of beers, and if you fancy a pint of Belhaven 90 (that's Belhaven 90/- or ninety shilling) that's what you'll get. If you want a bitter and twisted or a dark island just order that.
Most younger people drink straight out of the bottle so that saves up on the washing up for the bar staff, but out of the pumps you obviuously need a glass. Draught beer. A spelling difference again.....here you can have beer on draught. You can in some pubs actually play a board game called draughts. And an irritating current of cold air is also a draught. A skilled mechanic can also be called a draughtsman.
A document which is prepared prior to the final copy is called a draft document. You can draw up a draft document for approval....a plan or a sketch. You can be drafted into military service (not in the UK though as any form of compulsory military conscription was abolished decades ago) and I don't think the word "draft" in this sense was ever used here. I checked this out on the net and when compulsory military service was in operation here, such as in wartime or later in National Service up to 1962, the term "call up" was used rather than draft. The word draft also figures in commerce, and also something used by stonemasons apparently. You learn something every day!
One thing's for sure.....you don't have draft beer in the UK generally....it's draught (pronounced exactly the same way though).
British supping scene:
Back to London for me this evening. London pubs are ace!
***many pubs have seperate eating areas** Separate :-(
Eeeeks!!!! worst typo of all.......not deliberate I assure you, but "separate" is the most commonly mispelt word in the UK apparently!
OK...OK....go on - correct me! "mis-spelt"
>> Does the term "bartender" apply to female as well as male attendants (for want of a better word?) Here it's mostly barman or barmaid <<
"bartender" is simply the man that tends to the bar. We don't say "barman" here. If it were a woman then the term would be "bar maid", but it would be highly unlikely to see a woman serving drinks in a bar here in America, so you don't have to remember the word. Woman mostly work at restaurants and coffee shops and are called waitresses and "baristas".
<<If it were a woman then the term would be "bar maid", but it would be highly unlikely to see a woman serving drinks in a bar here in America, so you don't have to remember the word.>>
<<...it would be highly unlikely to see a woman serving drinks in a bar here in America, so you don't have to remember the word.>>
Huh? There are restaurants, hotels, and nightclubs all over America's big cities staffed with female bartenders, and that's exactly what they're called -- "bartenders".
<<what are the most common types of tap beers served in most North American bars? ordering drinks in bars really gives me a headache. it is easier in the restaurants/cafes -- at least I can pick from a menu.
what kind of alcohol drinks do u guys usually order?>>
Bars that serve beer on tap usually have signs or a list telling you what they offer. If you're not sure what you want, it wouldn't hurt to ask the bartender what he recommends. Just make sure that you at least have a preference (lager, ale, mild, bitter, light, dark, etc) so that the bartender can make a recommendation to your satisfaction.
The bars I usually end up going to only serve bottled beers, so I either order a Miller Genuine Draft, a Corona, or a Heineken.
I've never ordered a draft beer in my life, only bottled (and that was under duress as well, since I don't really like beer much.) "Corona with lime" is what I usually say when forced to pick one.
Female bartenders are still bartenders, and I had no idea that going to the bar was still stigmatized for women -- but then, we usually travel in packs to the bar. As for going there for just one thing ... I think that applies to the men as well, don't you? ;)
British pubs do have fun names. American bars really don't, usually. Often they aren't even identified by name, just by location -- "let's meet at that bar on such-and-such street."
An American bar that also serves food in any quantity is usually called a bar and grill. Often it's more restaurant-like anyway, even if they do have a larger selection of alcohol than a regular restaurant. But then, the pubs I saw in England seemed more like a bar and grill than like what I would call a bar, which is usually strictly for drinking, with a few soggy nachos or something on the side.
Damian, you forget the draught horse.
Uriel, as for going there for just one thing ... no, I think that applies to the men as well. Sure the men are oft on the look out but when a man goes alone into a pub 50% of the time it's just for beer, 10% of the time it's just for whisky, 5% of the time it's for just beer and whisky and 25% of the time just for some other booze comb; leaving 10% for other reasons. But if he's just looking for a sheila then a bloke could probably think of some better place to prowl.
>> I don't know where you're from, but there are tons of female bartenders here in the U.S.; and they're called just that--bartenders. No one in this part of the country (I live in New Jersey) uses the term "barmaid." <<
Really? The American Heritage Dictionary says a barmaid is "A person who serves drinks in a bar."
Dictionaries are full of words people rarely or never use.
<<Really? The American Heritage Dictionary says a barmaid is "A person who serves drinks in a bar.">>
I've been to plenty of bars in the US (at least in California, where I live) and I've also never heard "barmaid." I'm aware of its existence as a word but I haven't heard it in real life. Bartenders of male, female, and sometimes other persuasions are common here (well, maybe the "other" part is more common just here in San Francisco) and they're all called "bartenders."
Anyway, I don't think it should be too intimidating to ask what's on draft. Just ask--"what kind of beers do you have on tap/draft?" They'll usually point to them and list 'em out. It's also not unreasonable to ask about flavor if you're unfamiliar with a certain kind. Another question which people commonly ask is what beers, if any, are on special. Many places have specials at any given time, and not even just during happy hour.