Those darn Netflix recommendations. It’s like it downloaded my interests into my brain and picked out a program that I would like.
If you need any more inspiration to head to Ireland, check out The Irish Pub streaming on Netflix. It’s a loving slice-of-life documentary where director Alex Fegen sits his camera down in pubs across Ireland and lets his subjects talk. There’s no narration, no camera movement and no rowdy atmosphere.
As Americans, our picture of the Irish pub is boisterous crowds, loud music and pint after pint after pint after pint after pint after pint after pint of Guinness. The reality goes much more deeper when you travel further in Ireland into the small villages where the pub is the focal meeting place.
As you see in the documentary, the pubs still function as a grocer and, at one point, the town’s church. You can figure the connection between pub and church on your own.
You’ll see pub owners explain how their patrons are an extension of their family, and vice versa. The locals are born into the pub when they are of age and will probably take their last sip of Guinness on the same stool.
You can also see how the Irish get their gift of gab and hospitality. Just make sure you put the subtitles on so you can understand the tall tales and antidotes.
While the film jumps around from county to county, the one pub that’s featured in Dublin is The Palace Bar on Fleet Street, which I profiled in my historic pubs series. This is the place where journalists from the nearby Irish Times go to talk shop.
The pubs in the far-off counties aren’t the polish ones you find in Dublin with the aged wood, golden brass and storied histories. These joints are weathered, creeky and charming.
If you rent a car and set off to drive around Dublin, watch the documentary and you can set your GSP to find the pubs yourself. You might even come across the stereotypical flock of sheep in the middle of a county road.