Tis the season ladies and gents. Christmas jumpers and reindeer headbands. Staff parties, toffee nut latte’s, and the infamous 12 Pubs of Christmas. Many souls are lost along the way.
Here is a guide to the 12 pubs in Cork City but first some disclaimers. Ladies, leave the knee-high boots at home there is some walking involved. A logical route which ends in a nightclub is always best. Secondly, it is advised that at least one pint of water is consumed every so often just for safety. More advice on staying safe can be found at the bottom of the article.
P.S The Rules in each pub are crucial and the best night is had when these are strictly followed. Some rules which apply to all pubs. Don’t leave a buddy behind. One Pub, One Pint. One Crime, One Shot.
1. Annie Mac’s
The start of the tour begins at the top of Bandon Rd. Annie Macs, a student favourite is a great place to start. The rule for this pub is nice and handy and should get the chats flowing. This is THE NO PHONES PUB. Eyes must be vigilant, and any perpetrators must be reprimanded and subject to one punishment shot.
2. Cissie Youngs
Moving across the road to Cissies. This pub is THE BAD HAND PUB. Remember to keep your eyes open, the more you stick to the rules the better. If someone is caught drinking with their bad hand you must shout BUFFALO otherwise both parties must indulge in a punishment shot of their choice.
And the walk begins. Just down the road from Cissie’s we have Moks. Moks is nominated as, THE SILENT PUB, shhh. You’d be surprised at how difficult this one gets. It tends to work like a domino effect, someone speaks, then someone laughs at that person and tells them to get a shot, then realisation hits that they have been done and so on and so forth. At this point before leaving it would be an ideal time to skull a pint of water.
4. The Sportsmans Arms
3 pints of fosters for a tenner. There always the big boys who will try and face up to it. What they forget is that this is, THE PARTNER PUB. No one is allowed to the drink their own pint and must have their pint fed to them by their partner. Tip: Sort out partners in the group chat the night before. The other rule is partners must enter and exit every pub together.
5. Tom Barry’s
A nice and quaint pub but not for long. “One pint of your finest draught Guinness kind sir”. This is THE ACCENT PUB. A thoroughly enjoyable pub from my experience. Usually, this where the funny snap chat stories start, and the pints start taking hold. Pleading the fifth is not an option and is punishable.
6. An Spailpin Fanach
Getting closer to the centre of Cork City another small bit of a walk we get to An Spailpin Fanach, THE NO HANDS PUB. Did anyone ever telling that we communicate more with our body than words? Its true and you don’t realise it until there is a ban on any hand talking. No pointing, no throwing your arms about explaining something. Down by your side, please. This is the halfway point and is another great opportunity to have a pint of water.
7. The Oval Bar
Just next door we move onto the Guinness pub. At least 2 pints must be consumed here. The Bartender must be referred to as Guinness. When calling a pint, you must call the bartender by their name. “Can I have a pint of Bud please, Guinness”. If the bartender pours you a pint of plain you must neck it. No corrections are allowed.
Up to Súas, we go then. This is THE SNAPCHAT PUB. The key to this pub is that partners are vigilant and deliver justice when needed. Every member of the team must get at least 3 different selfies with a member of the opposite sex. This person must be a complete stranger and the selfie must be added to their snapchat story (Lads, it doesn’t matter if the Mrs won’t approve).
9. The Mutton Lane Inn
Founded in 1780, this quaint tavern is tucked away down a laneway right off Cork City’s main drag, Patricks Street. This is, THE NO SWEARING PUB. Pretty straightforward so keep an ear to the ground people. Upon leaving it is recommended that with the last 3 pubs approaching you, drink a pint of water.
Hang a quick left turn. Into Cavanagh’s, THE NO NAMES PUB. Like the no hands pub you would be surprised how difficult this task is. Pointing or any other attempt to refer to someone is also punishable by a shot.
11. The Wash (Washington Inn)
Next on the list is the last pub. If you are still going well done you are nearly there. The Wash is a great pub and well known for people dancing on the bar like somewhere in the south of Spain. This is THE BATHROOM PUB. All of those who embarked on the trip must squeeze into the toilet and finish their pints in there. You must remain in their until all members of the group finish their pint. Anyone who doesn’t or cannot fit in the toilet, guess what, have a shot.
Congratulations you have made it to THE STAY STANDING PUB. Enjoy the rest of the night. After this pub, you should have another 2 pints of water and head off to bed.
On a serious note, be careful, the Twelve Pubs of Christmas is a fairly arduous undertaking; not for the faint-hearted. Ok so it only comes around once a year and it is now becoming a traditional way of letting your hair down and unwinding with workmates, friends, and family after a long year. Take some precautions: Eat well before you start. Pace yourself. Know your route, make a plan and stick to it. Look after yourself and your friends. Drink water during the bar crawl. Have water instead of an alcoholic drink at different points if you have to. Have a designated non-drinker either with your group or readily available by phone. Finally, enjoy yourself.