Why don’t you hear people talking about meeting for coffee at Starbucks, then moving on to Costa for a quick frappe before congregating with a bigger group of friends at Nero for the evening? You would be written off as a nutter if you invited all your friends to a tea shop crawl, but pub crawls are standard fair.
Over the years I have had scores and scores of pub crawl invitations that involved meeting at a named pub before moving on to a bigger drinking venue, and ending up at a party via a pre-planned visit to an off-license or mini-mart. Everything centred around alcohol and nobody questioned it.
I’m not sure that our 18-24s still plan like this. Alcohol is too expense for a pub crawl. The big brewers have shot themselves in the foot in their greed, and now young people are turned off pubs (save Wetherspoons, perhaps). Back in the 90s, pubs thought they could lure young adults with alco-pops as teens shunned the traditional beer swilling boozers. It failed.
I really hope it’s true that young people are less interested in drinking than my generation growing up. It’s in youth that the damage is done. For me, alcohol was a rite of passage; a mark of adulthood. It also made me fearless. If I did stupid things, it didn’t matter. I could put it down to the booze – although I never wanted to blame the drink in case it was taken away from me – I always took responsibility for my own drunkenness and consequently tried too hard to protect it.
You can read more about my drinking experiences in my drinking memoir