Visiting every corner of Ireland to find some of the more famous public houses, as well as some of the more well regarded hidden gems, The Irish Pub is a love letter to a cornerstone of Irish personality, and one of our nation's most loved past-times. Interviewing a handful of folk who either run or own pubs around the country, the geography within Ireland doesn't stop their being a lot of similarities between them. Each of the pubs seems to have a very similar interior décor, they all regard their regular customers as friends or family, and none of them seem to treat their job as anything quite like a job, instead running the pub as a middle ground between a church and a sitting room.
Director Alex Fegan finds some seriously interesting characters to tell their tales to the camera, as everything from religion, literature, politics and relationships are brought up, poured over, and then it's promptly on to the next subject. There is a lot of mention of the current economic climate, and the unified stance of upholding tradition even in the face of progress.
There is a slight sense that after the thirty minute mark that we've heard everything that this documentary has to say, but much like the drunk guy at the bar who's taken to repeating and embellishing the same story over and over again, it never becomes boring, and at a slim running time, it never outstays its welcome. It's also VERY reminiscent of 2009 Irish documentary His & Hers, right down to the occasional times it becomes ever so slightly too twee for its own good.
However, when one of the pub owners volunteers up yet another hilarious story or witty anecdote, all these issues melt into the background. Yes, it's not a particularly revealing documentary, but not everything needs to be. Sometimes it's just nice to be reminded that there are places nearby where if everybody doesn't know you're name, they're at least willing to learn it. The Irish Pub is as much a celebration of the Irish personality as it is our everlasting love for a few jars.