Fancy a drink…online? – a guide to staying social through online bars

Source: Jessica Noble

We were all dreading it, the closing of the bars and pubs. No more pints after work or cocktails on a night out. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Thanks to technology, we have the ability to meet with friends, without leaving our homes. Here’s a rundown of the sites out there to help you stay social and connected to your social life.

The first are sites that offer virtual rooms to join. For example, ‘Stay the f*** home bar

That’s right. There’s an online bar called ‘Stay the f*** home’ and it’s perfect for those looking to socialise and meet new people. You simply make an account, add a nickname and join a room via ‘the street.’ The rules are clearly outlined to avoid any dangerous or unpleasant situations, as online socialising can be risky when you don’t know who you’re talking to. 

There’s a range of different rooms for people with different interests. For example, a room for those interested in fashion or a room for live music streams. But the most useful room will, no doubt, be the room for those who speak English. The site isn’t primarily English as it was created by a Russian organisation called ‘Stay Real’. 

But don’t let this stop you if you’re looking to socialise with new people. It’s easy to get others you know to join the same room and meet up. It’s ideal if you’re in need of an online platform to meet up on, or living on your own and looking to meet new people. 

Then there are sites such as ‘Fullers’ and ‘Brewdog’ that are more focused on recreating a pub in your own home. 

Now, these are much more private in terms of online activity and are created by companies to keep them engaged with their brands. They offer live streams of pub quizzes and live music that you can access through Facebook or their websites. 

‘Fullers’ also offer ‘Happy Hour’ at 8:30 pm on a Friday which involves masterclass tutorials and videos on mixology. So you can recreate your favourite drinks without leaving the kitchen. The streams and content aren’t through group call platforms, like Zoom, so to complete the atmosphere, it’s recommended that you set up a video call with your friends and all watch together. 

‘Brewdog’, on the other hand, offers their online pub through Zoom, so it requires registration before joining. They only host this on Friday nights. 

Another option is to turn to social media. Not just using Whatsapp to group call, but to look for existing groups or sites that are designed to recreate pubs and bars. 

For example, during the first lockdown, a huge favourite was ‘Jay’s Virtual Pub Quiz’, which was hosted every Thursday evening. What started as a one-off quiz for friends, resulted in thousands of people tuning in to take part. Not to mention Jay Flynn, the host, achieving a World Record, a Youtube award and becoming an MBE. 

You simply create a group call with your friends or family, log into YouTube and watch the livestream of the quiz. It’s so simple and a lot of fun, especially when you drink whilst completing the quiz. You could even make it a weekly event! 

There are thousands of pages and groups on Facebook that host lives streams of quizzes and entertainment or offer the chance to post and chat to others in the group. You’ve just got to look for them. 

The best advice is to find a platform or site that works best for you. If none of these takes your fancy then make your own quiz or start your own group. Technology makes it clear that we don’t have to feel totally isolated from our social lives during lockdown. Just because the pubs close doesn’t mean we stop drinking and talking. 

Words: Jessica Noble | Subbing: Begum Kuruc

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