A public house, informally known as a pub, is a drinking establishment fundamental to the culture of Britain, Ireland, Australia, Newfoundland and New Zealand. In many places, especially in villages, a pub can be the focal point of the community. The writings of Samuel Pepys describe the pub as the heart of England. The history of pubs can be traced back to Roman taverns, through the Anglo-Saxon alehouse to the development of the modern tied house system in the 19th century. Historically, public houses have been socially and culturally distinct from cafes, bars, bierkellers and brewpubs. Most public houses offer a range of beers, wines, spirits, and soft drinks. Many pubs are controlled by breweries, so cask ale or keg beer may be a better value than wines and spirits.
Contributions by Steeev, Mintguy, and Quercusrobur.