In a large dimly lit room men, only men, sat around tables chatting loudly, sip frosted glasses of strong beer. An unusual scenario for most Western mindsets, was the lack of music, TV's or any entertainment at all. It seems that for Sri Lankans, eachother's company is entertainment enough.
This is the typical scene in a local bar in Colombo or any other sizeable Sri Lankan city. The drink menu is dominated by beers produced by either of Sri Lanka's two major brewers: Ceylon and McCallum Brewery. Most locals stick to the high alcohol beers and as many proclaim, the non-strong abv beers are reserved for ladies. One would be hard pressed to find a lady in a local Sri Lankan dive but the beers are far cheaper than the average nightclub or high-end bar.
These local style bars are a must see in Sri Lanka and a great place to rub shoulders with the locals. To find one, look out for Pub or Bar signs, often located near the main train station.