|Another day. Another barfull of strangers|
Whether because of retirement and disposable income, or visiting the locals in the places your football team plays away at that fortnight, going to a faraway pub is holding increasing appeal for quite a few people. I'm guessing as the whole "pub experience" becomes increasingly homogenised and blanded for a certain restless type variety becomes a prized commodity. In towns that become dominated by a certain brewery or Pubco, this can often be the only way you'll ever get anything different.
What do you do in say, East Anglia market towns if you don't want Greene King or Adnams? For a certain restless and energetic person with a disposable income, the answer is obvious. Go elsewhere.
I'm probably lucky in that I live in a town with a reasonable array of options. I don't have to travel too far to somewhere where I'll get an "atypical" beer. Too much travel outside the area is limited for me, anyway. I have a job that requires me to start at 6am most days, which precludes me staying out too late. And I don't possess the necessary social skills to strike up instant rapports with pubgoers and staff that I, to be honest, have very little in common with.
The times I've been out in unusual places trying to find a pub that has decent beer, isn't too noisy and crowded, or I don't risk having the shit kicked out of me for being "different", I've often ended up sitting on a bench, looking at the clock and wishing I was back in Preston. At least I know where I AM there. It's not perfect by any means, but I know where and where not to go, and whom I'm likely to see.
I'm not saying that going out of your " comfort zone" is a bad thing, but most of the time "familiar" is best. It's why we have 'locals' after all. I like to go somewhere where they'll just pour me a pint, instead of giving me "customer service training DVD" spiel.
Call me unadventurous and insular. And I probably am. But most of the time, novelty isn't the best thing in the world.