New research in the UK has confirmed what people who like a few drinks have always known - living near a pub makes you happier.
A study by Oxford University found that regulars with a local pub nearby are “significantly” happier, have more friends, better life satisfaction, and actually drink in more moderation.
The report, for the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), highlighted the importance of face-to-face interaction.
It also revealed that social skills improve after a drink, while people were more likely to be engaged in conversations in small community pubs rather than larger establishments.
The study, conducted in pubs in Oxfordshire, also found that pubs played an integral role in providing venues where people could meet and make friends.
Professor Robin Dunbar of Oxford University, said: “Friendship and community are probably the two most important factors influencing our health and wellbeing.
“Making and maintaining friendships, however, is something that has to be done face-to-face. The digital world is simply no substitute.
“Given the increasing tendency for our social life to be online rather than face-to-face, having relaxed accessible venues where people can meet old friends and make new ones becomes ever more necessary.”
Tim Page, chief executive of Camra, said: “Whilst we are delighted that such robust research highlights some of the many benefits of visiting a pub, I hardly expect the findings will be a great surprise to Camra members.
“Pubs offer a social environment to enjoy a drink with friends in a responsible, supervised community setting. Nothing is more significant for individuals, the social groupings to which they belong and the country as a whole as our personal and collective wellbeing.
“The role of community pubs in ensuring that wellbeing cannot be overstated. For that reason, we all need to do what we can to ensure that everyone has a ’local’ near to where they live or work.”