A pub is a public house that serves alcoholic drinks (usually draught beer and cider). In some countries, they are also known as taverns or alehouses.
A typical pub has a bar, seating area and often a dining area for meals. Some serve food to a high standard to match restaurant quality, and are often called gastropubs.
Some pubs are chains, usually run by a pub company or a brewery. These companies may have several such chains, each aimed at different markets.
In the United Kingdom, some pubs have become tied houses; these are pubs that can only sell beers brewed by the brewery in which they are owned and operated. Tied houses were regulated in 1989 when the UK government passed the Beer Orders.
The law requires tied houses to have at least one alternative beer, known as a guest beer, from another brewery in stock. The Beer Orders were a big change in the UK’s beer industry.
A themed pub can be a bar with a theme or decoration that evokes a particular culture, country or time period. In some parts of the world, such as Canada and Denmark, themed pubs have become increasingly popular.
They are a common setting for fictional works, such as novels, stories, films and video games. The Admiral Benbow Inn in the Treasure Island pirate story and the Woolpack in ITV’s EastEnders are two examples.
In addition to serving draught beer, most pubs also offer wine and spirits, and some offer other non-alcoholic drinks, such as coffee or tea. Some serve snacks at the bar and others have a separate dining room, often with a kitchen.