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Barich, Bill, A Pint of Plain: Tradition, Change and the Fate of the Irish Pub (London: Bloomsbury, 2009).

Bill Barich’s heartfelt homage to the traditional Irish pub - and to the central piece of Irish culture disappearing along with it.

A Pint of Plain is a quest to chronicle the state of the Irish pub today, and thereby to examine Irish culture at a time of great change. When the American writer Bill Barich moved to Dublin, he began searching for a traditional pub to serve as his local. Although he had no shortage of choices, he had trouble finding one that measured up to the archetypal ideal portrayed in Ireland's literature and such iconic movies as The Quiet Man. That suggested something deeper was at play – a shift in the country's values and identity. As Barich roamed from hectic urban pubs to their dwindling rural counterparts, he met an array of extraordinary characters whose lives are bound up in the trade. He blends the history of Guinness into his account, and also explores the impact of the firms that export 'authentic' Irish pubs around the world. A Pint of Plain will be irresistible to anyone who has been touched by Ireland and cares about its future.


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Studies in Travel Writing (journal)
Centre for Travel Writing Studies (Nottingham Trent University)

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