Search This Blog

Tuesday, 16 May 2017



A Pub or public house is an establishment that serves alcoholic drinks such as beer and ale, and usually also non-alcoholic drinks such as coca cola, lemonade, coffee or tea to be consumed within the limits of the public house.

Since the 1990s food has become a more important part of a pub's trade, and today most pubs serve lunches and dinners at the table in addition to (or instead of) snacks consumed at the bar. They may have a separate dining room. Some pubs serve meals to a higher standard, to match good restaurant standards; these are sometimes termed gastropubs.

Pubs are subject to the licensing laws of the country they are located in. They may be closed down if not properly conducted.

Pubs are found in English-speaking countries such as England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States.

A thatched country pub, The Williams Arms, near Braunton, North Devon, England

In many places, especially in English, Scottish and Irish villages, pubs are the center of community life.

America generally has more of a bar scene than a pub culture. Particularly popular is the sports bar.


Pubs can be traced back to Roman taverns. In Anglo Saxon England taverns became so popular that the Archbishop of York was forced to forbid priests to eat and drink in them. Instead monks went into the brewing business themselves and set up hostelries for pilgrims.

Anglo Saxon women called alewives ran a form of tavern called an "alehouse", which was marked out by a broom being stuck out above the door when a fresh brew was ready. The ale was served in a "pail", in which the guest dipped his mug to fill it up.

These alehouses came about after the local women who made the best beer in a community started offering their brew to others. Gradually the most popular brews would attract so many customers a separate room was required to house the drinkers and the alehouse was born.

By 965 Communal places of drinking have become so commonplace in England that King Edgar decreed that there should be no more than one alehouse per village.

Ye Olde Man & Scythe is a public house on Churchgate in Bolton, England. The earliest recorded mention of its name was in a charter from 1251, making it one of the ten oldest public houses in Britain .

Ye Olde Man & Scythe, Bolton by Michael Ely Wikipedia

In 1393, King Richard II of England introduced legislation that taverns inns and alehouses had to display a sign outdoors to make them easily visible for passing ale tasters who would assess the quality of ale sold,

An act was passed in Britain in 1496 against "vacabounds and beggers", which contained a clause regulating alehouses. The different types of drinking establishments were strictly annotated. An ale house could sell only beer, while a tavern had to serve food as well as drink.

A survey in 1577 of drinking establishment in England and Wales for taxation purposes recorded 14,202 alehouses, 1,631 inns, and 329 taverns, representing one pub for every 187 people.

The Ale-House Door (painting of c. 1790 by Henry Singleton)

The English term " bar" as in "Going to a bar" was being used by the late 16th century. It refers to the "barrier" or counter across which drink is being served.

The White Horse Tavern of Newport, Rhode Island was founded in 1673 and has been serving up ale and eats ever since. It is the oldest bar in the Unites States.

By 1689, Boston, Massachusetts had one pub for every 20 adult men.

The very first American Western saloon was created in Brown's Hole, Wyoming, in 1822 and served fur trappers. Some of the saloons offered dancing girls, some of them sometimes doubled as prostitutes

Some of these American saloons craftily started adding to their drink sales by offering free lunches. As most of these free lunches were overly salted, the diner was forced to buy an alcoholic drink.

In late 18th century Britain brewers were buying inns and installing tenants and managers who sold their beers. This was especially happening in the urban areas where the expanding population of the industrial towns and cities was creating a demand for beer that innkeepers who tended to make their own ale on site in tiny brewhouses couldn't meet. These "Public houses" or "pubs" were providing a friendly and hospitable place where both visitors and locals could relax and converse over a pint of beer or ale.

People drinking at Ye Olde Cock Tavern in London, England. By Fuzheado - Wikipedia

In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them "Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down." It's where we get the phrase 'mind your Ps and Qs'.

By the turn of the 19th century, popular music was deemed unsuitable in proper theatres and working class folk were hearing and singing their own popular songs in pubs.

A petition signed by more than a million women and dated December 30, 1887 was addressed to Queen Victoria calling for all pubs to be closed on Sundays. The petition failed.

Behind the Bar by John Henry Henshall.

In 1915 Closing and Opening times in pubs had to be implemented to stop factory workers showing up to work drunk and harming the war effort.

In Britain because of the reduction of live sports events and other activities due to the World War II, many spent their evenings drinking in pubs where they could forget about their troubles. The warmth and conviviality of the public house was proving an attraction to many lonely and worried souls whose loved ones are abroad in dangerous situations fighting for their country.


The most common name for a pub is 'The Red Lion' with over 5,000 in Britain.

The longest bar in the world is in New Bulldog in Rock Island, Illinois. It is 684-feet long.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) is the only U.S. president who was also a licensed bartender. He was co-owner of Berry and Lincoln, a saloon in Springfield, Illinois.

The Tan Hill Inn in Swaledale, North Yorkshire is said to be Britain's highest pub at 1,732ft above sea level.

Tan Hill Inn By Dave Dunford - Wikipedia

Britain's most remote bar. 'The Old Forge' pub is located in Inverie, which is so isolated in the Scottish Highlands that no roads connect the village to the rest of the country. Thirsty travelers need to hike 17 miles over very rough terrain, or take a 7-mile ferry ride.

No comments:

Post a Comment