We take the “British” part of the British Beer Company name quite seriously. It isn’t necessarily the look, the menu or the beer selection that we hope to embody at our pubs. It’s the feeling of belonging and being welcomed from the moment you step in the door until you’ve tipped your last pint of the night.

We realize this sounds trite, but we really do want each local BBC to be the kind of place “where everybody knows your name.” Forgive us.

New hires at the BBC are asked to watch this great video about British pub life, which really explains the attitude that’s at the heart of our whole concept. Several years ago, we took things a step further and sent a crew of BBCers to London for a pub tour. One of those people was Pam Santry, a bartender at our Sandwich restaurant who’s been with us for 17 years.

In England, breweries often own pubs – lots of them – and hotels. One such brewery is Fuller’s, who we partnered with for the trip. Our crew stayed at Sanctuary House, which is owned by Fuller’s, and their crew showed everyone around.

“It was a walking tour of landmarks, like Westminster and the Tower of London, and we popped into pubs all along the way,” said Pam. “We got to see how each pub varied by neighborhood, how it was for that community.”

Varying pubs by neighborhood is something we’ve tried to do with the BBC’s 14 locations. Unlike large franchise restaurants, which have a formula for how things should look and feel regardless of the location, we allow the community to dictate the vibe of each BBC.

“Fuller’s is also very into helping with fundraisers,” said Pam. “It’s about being part of the community, and the BBC is really big on this as well, donating to swim teams and football teams, just about to any cause.”

While no one on the trip returned to the States with a British accent – a.k.a. “a case of the Madonnas” – they did come back with a firmer understanding of the difference between a bar and a pub. It’s also quite possible they came home with a few less brain cells. We’re guessing that there may have been a pint or two consumed in the name of research.