Howdy Doo Buckaroos and how the heck are you?
Yes, I did “Borrow” the title from Styx, “Too Much Time On My Hands”, for the other beer/music geeks out there.
But … That’s what we did. We went to the bar, met friends, had a few drinks, and we’d shoot the shit.
I’m the 4th of 5 kids in my family and our upbringing was a tad unusual and what might be described today as Extreme Free Range Parenting. It was the 70’s in Southern Ca. after all. Oddly enough, for most of the decade it was legal for kids to be brought into bars, and my brothers, sisters and myself logged more bar time as minors than many throughout there entire adult lives. I’d like to say that I’m exaggerating for effect, but I’m really not!
So, we inhaled a lot of smoke and heard a lot of salty language, ate a lot of beef jerky and cheese corn and drank gallons of Coke! Though I wasn’t born in a bar, saloon, tavern, lounge or pub, you could say that I was born to be in one. However, of the 5 of us, I’m the only one that truly feels at home in a pub. I’ve certainly logged a lot of bar hours over the years.
At 54, I can tell you that drinking habits change over the years, I do a lot less chugging and shooting as an aging beer/whiskey enthusiast. As a craft beer geek, I spend more time admiring the pour, and checking the nose than I did as a younger drinker.
We certainly see a lot less mom and pop bars and more chains, that and social media and damn near everyone carrying a smart phone or other device, bar etiquette has changed.
There was a time that you would go to the pub to socialize. Now folks go to pub and do the exact same thing that they’d be doing in their living rooms. Instead of talking to their friends, they have to check in their beverage into the multitudes of sites just itching to give them a virtual pat on the back or imaginary ribbon.
It’s not just the patrons that have changed though. Service is not the same overall that it once was. Efficiency is stressed over friendliness. You’d become a regular, get to know the bartender, tip well, and you’d get a better pour or maybe even a free drink. Now with everything computerized and measured, that’s unlikely. Also, it seems many bartenders can make a 100 different flavored martinis, but most seem to have the inability to smile and have the personality of a rock and I’m not talking about the friendlier pet rock.
It seems that we’re all missing the point. We’re going out to the taprooms and brewpubs, but we’re waisting the experience on social media rather than just experiencing it. We’re virtually living instead of living.
I’m certainly as guilty of this as anybody. I’ve gone into pubs and ordered my brew, stopped to take a picture, do a video and be completely oblivious to my surroundings.
The technology is enjoyable and can enhance our lives, if we don’t let it take over our lives.
So, order your beer, check it in if you must, but don’t neglect the friends you came in with, are meeting, or might meet if you just put your damn phone down!