I love going to bars, and I appreciate that my day job (selling beer for a craft brewery) requires that I go to bars, because it forces me to do something that’s not always comfortable: go to social places alone and talk to strangers. The benefits of this are larger than you think.
It’s undeniable that beer and other alcoholic beverages do damage. They’re drugs, and they can be abused. But they also do good, because a delicious beverage and a slight buzz are the candy that get us to emerge from our cocoons and go out into a social place. I can’t tell you how many wonderful conversations I’ve had with people in bars, both lately and over my life, but especially lately.
Just today, my roommate and my stopped off at a few different places, and at the last one we had a great conversation with one of the patrons and the bartender. We got to hear stories, and share stories, that we never would have had otherwise. Ordering a beer and bellying up to a bar means you’re going to be there for a while, and being there alone isn’t frightening. More than that, it’s an opening for serendipity.
I haven’t met the love of my life in a bar. That’s how my parents met, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I met the future Mrs. Gee somewhere else. But I have met some amazing people, and had a ton of fascinating conversations, that gave me a window into lives different from my own. There’s an equality at the bar, here everyone’s equal. It’s a community that’s been missing since we all stopped going to the same churches (or temples, or mosques), and that’s fine—the price to enter those places is too high for some (like me). But there ought to be another place we can gather. Why not a bar? Everyone’s equal before the eyes of beer.
(Disclaimer: Alcohol is a drug, and I don’t mean to unnecessarily glamorize it, especially if you know someone who’s struggled with alcoholism. I’m also looking forward to self-driving cars, for many reasons, but looming large among them is that it takes away the excuse for people to drive drunk. No one says you need to drink, much less be drunk, if you’re at a bar—or a pub, for preference. Why not have the pub (or brewery) be the center of the community? The church might accept all comers, but the pub does it in a way the church can’t match. Belly up to the bar, order a drink, and talk to your neighbor. Maybe you’ll make a new friend.)As always, thank you for using my Amazon Affiliate link (info).