When considering the qualities of a pub and bar it is worth acknowledging there are some hard to place qualities that make things feel just right. Similarly, there can be unique elements, even tiny things that contribute to the overall effect. You can’t always measure these as they are often subjective. All of these have been borne in mind by me when judging these bars.
However, in order to provide some objective comparison, there are specific areas upon which it is possible to define, compare and contrast. There are 5 categories these venues will be judged upon, leading to an overall final score which I deem, ‘The Pub Going Factor’.
A: Quality and/or choice of drinks
I will primarily be judging the quality and choice of beers served in the bar, however I will also consider the range on the back shelf as well. If the venue specialises in a certain thing and does that well, it will be allowed a degree of latitude if the beer is not up to scratch.
B: Style and Décor
The furnishings, the look the place is aiming for, or has accrued over the years. I will compare whether these are sympathetic with the surroundings and the bar’s purpose.
C: Character, Atmosphere and/or Local Life
An essential factor in the enjoyment of any bar is that it creates an environment in keeping with its purpose, whether that be digging in with a good book, or standing around a lively bar. Does the place have the right buzz or the right cosy feel? Is the crowd the kind of people you want to share space with? Extra commendation goes to any bar that has successfully fostered a cast of regulars.
D: Amenities, Events & Community
The primary purpose of a bar is to serve drinks, and allow people space and room to drink them in the fashion and mood the bar intends to generate. However, extra features such as food, games, terrace areas, quizzes, live music and community events will score points when and only when they are a net improvement on the place’s core mission.
E: Value For Money
Becoming a regular at some bars could turn into a very expensive habit. It’s vital bars price their drinks fairly in order to maintain a loyal following. I will be judging value for money by considering a bar’s location, the quality of the drink and surroundings, and, as a British person, what I can get for my Pound Sterling. If I can only get a Corona for 6 euros, I’m going to be unhappy. If I can get a pint of Pilsner Urquell for less than 35 koruna, I’m going to be very happy.
F: The Pub Going Factor
This is what you end up with when the scores from the above are put together, and when your other inexpressible, but just as vital feelings are weighed with it. Essentially this is the answer to the question, how likely am I to make a special visit to this place, or, if possible, make it a regular haunt? The score as much as any other will tell you outright how good this pub is. If the end result is a score of 8/10 or higher, it will make it onto our Bar Directory.
10/10 – An unmissable pub going experience. A number of varying different special qualities that make a place standout beyond the every day. A reason to visit a town or city in and of itself.
9/10 – An excellent pub that does a series of important things really well, far and beyond the norm, the kind you want to make your local and cheerlead.
8/10 – A quality pub. Room for improvement but a thoroughly enjoyable save haven from mediocrity.
So, what makes your opinion more valid than mine?
Nothing. Feel free to disagree with me in every way you like, however you will have to please refer to the ‘FICS‘ page (Frequently Irrelevant Complaints) just to check you aren’t a prissy crybaby or a dullard whose opinion ought to be taken with a pinch of salt.
I acknowledge not everyone enjoys crumbling edifices, real ale, pub quizzes – some people would rather be listening to chart music slightly too loudly and drinking cider in venues decorated temporarily in whatever the latest fad is. You have an unreserved right to disagree, but unlike me I don’t suppose you are going to set up a website about them are you? Victory is mine.