My idea of the perfect pub

Favourite pub in all of Manitoba! by Cody La Bière
Once every year or two, a new restaurant or bar opens up here in Brandon, Manitoba calling itself a "pub", when in fact, it's just another restaurant that happens to have a few beers in their fridge.

Here's what I think are MY beliefs what makes the perfect pub:
  • Beer selection - this is key for a great Canadian pub. Not only should they have beers in bottles, but they should have a decent list of beer on tap for patrons to select. By this, I mean they should have some local micros available for someone who wants to try something new, but also something that everyone loves.. but not Bud Light (Lime).
  • Good food - Quite often when you've had a few, you're craving for a bite to eat. So in this case, you need some pub grub to help ease your stomach. Some great food suggestions include poutine (more varieties, the better!), wings, nachos, and something less common to pubs such as bison steak or I don't know.. something sweet/savoury like chicken and waffles.
  • Great service - My favourite pubs are the pubs where the staff knows you a la Cheers. When I go to my favourite pubs, the staff goes "long time no see! How have you been?" That makes me feel much more welcome than going to a pub where the staff has served you dozens of times before but doesn't seem to remember you. 
  • Atmosphere - There's three kinds of pubs I love - A pub with live music going on, a pub with HD tvs so I can eat wings and watch Stanley Cup playoffs and lastly, a pub where I can just chill out and have a great political discussion with friends. However, all three together don't get along. I go to pubs where I want to have a nice chat only to be distracted by TVs or it's too loud as there's a live band playing. I love all three kinds of pubs but each has its own place. Also, pubs, if you're bringing in a live act from a different province to your pub, how about turning off the TVs for an hour or two?
  • Affordable - I'm not a cheapo but I'm not rich (nor do I have much money), but it's a shocker when you go to a pub, order a bite to eat and two macro beers (Rickards or Keiths) and it comes up to $30 before taxes. $6 for a pint of macro? That's just outrageous. I'll gladly pay that for a seasonal micro, if not more, but not for a freaking pint of Keiths! If I wanted to drink Keith's, I would have gone to the vendor and pick up a 6 pack for the same price it would have cost for two pints.
  • Pint sizes - Pubs, it's 2012. Please stop confusing what the word pint is. To me, a PINT is 20oz or 591mL (others would think 473mL is pint size). Quite often when I ask for a pint, I'll get a beer in a Coke mug that only holds 355mL worth of Coke or.. beer. If I'm paying pint prices, I expect a pint, not a "glass" of beer. If you're going to charge the same price for 12-22oz pints, I want that beer in a 22oz glass then. I know of several pubs in Quebec that distinguish between pint sizes, and good for them, they know what the difference is in sizes. However, in Manitoba.. bar staff are just not educated on what a pint is. It's time for change though, where we get a pint for a pint's worth in cost. 
  • Menu - Quite a few pubs have websites now days. Quite often I want to get a feel what they have for food and drinks. Quite often they'll have a list of food, as well as some cocktails they sell. However, quite often they don't list any beers. So pubs, put a beer list on your website and in the menu itself. Why? It can be embarrassing to your staff if they have to list off every beer you have in stock, and he/she has no clue what beers you even have. Save them the trouble and post a list.. EVEN if it's a list of the beers you have year round as we know seasonals come and go.

That's about it for the cranky rant of the day! And remember, if a Canadian pub doesn't serve any beer from kegs, then it's likely not a freaking pub!


Anonymous said...

You must be constantly disappointed living in a dump like Brandon.

Anonymous said...

That's why he's "Cranky"!

Cody Lobreau said...

Hahaha! So true. I'm sick of hearing about a new pub opening every year or two in Brandon and it ends up disappointing. There are.. a minimum of a dozen restaurants or bars in Brandon that serve Keiths, Kokanee, Rickards, Bud Light Lime AND Canadian, but only one that serves Half Pints. If a pub wants me to pay $5+ for a beer, it better be a micro. A Canadian should never cost $5 anywhere, except at a sporting event.