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This is a rare and wonderous event. It involves not having to pay for drinks in a pub.

There are several types of free bar:

  • free pumps - where any drinks from the pumps are free.
  • free bottles - where bottles are free. Sometimes used in conjunction with free pumps for special occasions.
  • free bar - everything is free. The rarest of them all. Pumps, bottles and even spirits are free. You may encounter this only once in your lifetime. Twice if you are extremely lucky or good friends with a landlord.

If you meet one of these, do not squander the opportunity. Seize it, drink as much as you can. Try to drink the bar dry. It is your call to arms!

These are the things you wait for in life!

A free bar is a bar that gives away drinks free to anyone they want, and don't accept anything in trade. They accept gifts, especially ones that relate to their operation, but none is required in order to get drinks. Free bars are pretty rare, but there were some during Burning Man 2002 - Safari Social Club to name one. They exist in contrast with barter bars, and regular bars where you have to pay.

Free bars inspire amazing feelings of gratitude, which often results in them getting gifts of more liquor, which allows them to continue operation. Also, on the bar there are usually various gifts, including food that anyone can eat. They are also great fun, because anyone you see, you can just grab and make them come over and get a free drink. Free bars usually attract great crowds of people, who are soon drunk milling around, grabbing more people and liquor.

Free bars last until they run out of liquor. Sometimes they slow down the liquor output in order to remain in operation longer.
Free bars can only occur when there is a feeling of goodwill among everyone present, which is why they are so rare in semi-public events, but common among small groups of friends.

Free bars used to be a significant part of the world of corporate entertainment. To a certain extent, they still are, but senior management, auditors and the taxman are all liable to ask questions. The company will pick up the tab, but may impose a ceiling. If they do this, get your expensive drinks in early! Free bars (in this sense, with a tab) are also common for wedding receptions.

A free bar also provides a way of circumventing paying excise duty, if the drinks are home made (home brew, etc.). Duty becomes payable if the alcoholic drinks are sold, not if they are given gratis (this is true in the UK anyway). This does not stop the free bar charging an admission or a membership.

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