Are Our Brewery Taprooms the Evolution of Old English Pubs?
I have this delightful book that I found at a used book store called The Curiosities of Ale and Beer. It was originally published in 1886 and then re-released in the 1960's. It is quite irreverent compared to our references books of today; however, it offers some fascinating history written by folk during a period of time NONE of us were even alive. It's like getting two histories in one.
"Two! Two! Two histories in one!"
Say hello to The Hospital of St Cross and Almshouse of Noble Poverty. I thought you'd like to know where the concept of a public house may have originated. I hear you can still walk up to the Porter's Lodge and ask for the "Wayfarer's Dole": a piece of bread and a small mug of ale. It's now my bucket list item #37.
The concept of providing food and drink to travelers may have had religious beginnings centuries ago but it is still very much a part of our human experience. The need to take care of each other finds a good partner in an English pub.
The Lost Pubs Project says that four pubs close every day in England, yet they still have 50,000! Places like The George Inn, (now the Old George Mall) are centuries old. Built in 1306, it may have been a place of inspiration for Shakespeare, and it most certainly provided a place for friends, lovers, politicians and great thinkers to noodle and canoodle. See what I did there.
In America, we don't really have places like this, although spots like the Horse Brass in Portland do a fine job of trying. We simply lack the time it takes for history to make its mark.
I venture, however, that our brewery taprooms are taking up this mantle and while we don't have nearly as many of them as England has pubs, they seem to be places of merriment; where you can have great conversation with another regular, bring your dog and/or your kiddos, be inspired to do, say or write fantastic things and relax with a pint or two. Maybe some food if you thought ahead or there's food on site.
There was a recent study that said the American population is moving away from the traditional bar and tavern scene. I wonder if we're heading more into places like brewery taprooms, which have a personality all of their own. Places like this also provide a more farm-to-table experience and the opportunity to meet the people behind the passion. It's a more vibrant and, dare I say, healthful brand. It's also more community-based and I think we're all missing that these days. With commute times averaging an hour each way, as a population we're a bit scattered. So, it makes sense that we create our own communities in places like Whitewall's taproom. A place where we find people with which we have something, maybe many things, in common.
I may be making a connection where there is none, but you tell me! What are some of the reasons you might like coming to Whitewall more than a bar on the Marysville strip? A bar like, say, the one below?
Just thinking out loud, here. Have a great day everyone. Cheers!