I just finished a conversation with my host mom about pub and alcohol culture. It’s pretty interesting how British and American alcohol culture are quite similar. I expected they would be much more different. The main difference between the two is that in the United States, more people drive cars, so drinking and driving is a huge problem. Also, the United States has more restrictions against drinking i.e. no public intoxication, strict laws about being 21 to drink, .08 alcohol limit, an open container law etc. Here, many 15 year olds will not be carded in a pub (though this is changing) and if a bartender serves someone under age, he or she is the one penalized 1000 pounds, not the pub. The other main difference is that people here tend to let their kids drink at home when they are around 15 whereas in the United States, that is very uncommon. Much like the United States though, people here often go out to pubs to get drunk, not just to have a drink or two. I think this is probably different from Italian or French culture. Those Irish are troublemakers though 😉

Originally published 2/8/08