If all you've ever read of Orwell is Animal Farm or 1984, then you've missed a fair amount of amazing political and literary writing.Even if you don't agree with Orwell's politics, I think most of us can agree with Orwell's sentiments on the pub. The question to you, my fellow Falcons, is what's your favorite pub experience?
I have to admit that for all the good beer I've drunk in my life, I don't know if I've ever had a better day drinking then the day I spent all day drinking beer and gin and tonics at the Schooner Wharf Bar in Key West. Hard to argue with ice cold beer, oysters, conch fritters, an ocean breeze and Michael McCloud playing funny and dirty songs. But that's the tourist crap... for me, I'm most comfortable hanging out at Lucky's or the Verdugo, but I still remember that first day sitting at the sadly defunct Crown City Brewing with a friend and experiencing the warmest service I'd seen in the year since I moved to LA. And it was topped by the treatment I got the following week when I returned. (That would be thanks to Dennis Hartman, now with Paulaner, and Ed)
As for Pete Brown - he's written three fantastic books that I highly recommend. If you don't laugh while reading them, well, don't go to The Moon Under Water. Reading his stories make you feel like you're right across the table from him, sharing a pint. [Late Edit: Pete Brown just got named the Michael Jackson Beer Writer of the Year by the British Guild of Beer Writers. Very cool.]
Pete Brown Biblography
Man Walks into a Pub: A Sociable History of Beer - His first book that explores the British history of beer and its favorite institution the pub.
Three Sheets to the Wind: One Man's Quest for the Meaning of Beer - He travels the world exploring different drinking cultures (including Portland OR) to try and figure out what makes it possible for everyone else in the world to have a socialable time drinking without resorting to the levels of violence reported by the British media.
Hops and Glory: One Man's Search for the Beer That Built the British Empire - In his latest book he explores the myth, the legend and the history of IPA by recreating the fabled journey every cask took. Yes, that means he spent a ridiculous amount of time on a boat lugging around a cask. Ok, several, but you need to read the book to understand. Currently it's only published in the UK, so this one's a bit more expensive.