The Civil Life Brewing Company opened its doors five years ago, but even before then, the three founders were working diligently on the brewery and pub space. They were trying to settle on a name. They ultimately turned to our friend Tuan, brilliant photographer and man of many talents. It didn’t take him long to suggest “the Civil Life.” Everyone knew at once that this deceptively simple name was semantically rich and wholly appropriate for what we were attempting to do.
Perhaps not many would bother looking up a word as simple as civil (in Volume III of the Oxford English Dictionary), but a former English graduate student can never resist the urge. The primary meaning is pertaining to people living together in a community. Our beer and our space have been meant to bring the diverse people of our neighborhood and city together in the spirit of fellowship and shared humanity. And that’s why it’s the Civil Life—the name refers to much more than just beer.
Civil means “not barbarous” and “advanced in the arts of life.” It means “Educated; well-bred; refined; polished; polite.” These are characteristics that aptly describe our great regulars, who rightly view good beer as an essential part of the good life. Civil means “humane, gentle, and kind” and “polite or courteous in behaviour to others.” Many people comment on the fact that they never fail to enjoy excellent conversation over a pint at our pub, often with a stranger.
The Civil Life means good food, good drink, good cheer, and good company. Newcomers often ask us about our name and what it means. We can just gesture to our pub and all our great regulars enjoying it, with smiling faces and pint glasses clinking together. Thanks for five years of the Civil Life. We couldn’t have done it without you. Cheers to every one of you from all of us!
The Civil Blog has returned. It is predominantly authored by Civil Life Barman, Dr. Patrick Hurley, who can be found tending to our bar patrons on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He is also responsible for tending to our draft lines, which is recognized as one of our most important tasks. Special guest writers will appear from time to time. We hope reading this blog will give you much insight about the Civil Life and most importantly help you understand a bit more about all of us that work here and the beers we put our hearts into.