So now you have a drink, but what about meeting the locals? Pub-goers will indicate in unspoken ways if they are interested in chatting. Concentrate on those who have bought drinks and are still loitering at the bar. Those who have moved to sit at tables are probably not seeking company. Look for people with "open" body language, facing outwards into the room. Don' t ever introduce yourself with an outstretched hand and a big smile. Natives will cringe and squirm with embarrassment at such brashness. The British, quite frankly, do not want to know your name and shake your hand——or at least not until a proper degree of mutual interest has been well established (like maybe when you marry their daughter).
Talk generally about the weather, the beer or the pub and at an appropriate moment, offer to your newfound companion a drink. This exchange is key to feeling part of the pub crowd and thereby getting to know more about Britain than its tourists spots. The ritual of sharing——buying rounds of drinks in turn——is of great significance. This is because the British male is frightened of intimacy, finds it difficult to express friendly interest in other males and can be somewhat aggressive in his manner.
If you are having British friends or business contracts, one of your hosts will probably buy the first round, but you should be quick to offer the next. The right time to offer to buy a drink is when their glasses are still a quarter full. The line of "It's my round——What are you having?" may not be in your phrase book, but it is one of the most useful sentences in the English language.