Real ale aficionados turn to the pages of the Good Beer Guide. But how can you tell what sort of ambience you’ll find in a pub you haven’t visited before? Well, wonder no more. The Licensed Victuallers’ Association has issued a simple flag-based classification system to let drinkers know what to expect when they stop for a drink and a bag of pork scratchings.
Ken Worthington, spokesman for the association, said: “For years we’ve had an informal system, based on the number of ‘England’ flags that pubs put on display. Now, with the cooperation of pub landlords around the country, we’ve expanded the idea into a pamphlet, a website and a pop-up book.
“One flag of St George means that customers will be able to watch live football on a big screen, thanks to a Sky subscription or, more likely, a dodgy live feed from Eastern Europe. A rudimentary knowledge of Rumanian would heighten the experience, plus a working knowledge of the offside rule. A variety of cold, fizzy, tasteless lagers will be available, probably all dispensed from the same barrel.
“Two England flags announce the pub as a place where mild racism and xenophobia are not merely tolerated but actively encouraged. Most conversations will start with “They come over ‘ere...” and go swiftly downhill from there.
“Three flags flying indicates that your personal safety, during a visit, cannot be guaranteed. Get an offensive tattoo. Buy a pitbull. Avoid eye contact. Go home”...