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British pubs

Pub is the abbreviated form of public house and refers to an establishment where alcoholic drinks are served.

Pubs are common sight in British soil, where virtually every town has at least one, and other English speaking countries have imported the institution along with the language.

Many pubs in British soil belong now to chains under the control of breweries and often beer is cheaper than wines or spirits. You would be able to drink cask ale -real ale for many, brewed and matured in the pub employing traditional methods; served at cool cellar temperature by a hand-pump- or beer from the keg -made in industrial quantities, pasteurized, pressurized, and chilled. Pubs also serve a range of non-alcoholic drinks and most offer food as well as drinks, whatever the landlord fancies.

Sometimes you will find lodging as well as food and drinks and could the word  inn would be part of the pub name; the curious fact is that many places known as inns or hotels no longer do, but only hostelries were allowed to serve alcohol in former times.

The bar usually provides the focal point in the local. Frosted or smoked windows to protect customers from curious viewers make pubs dark, needing ambience lights even when there is still sunlight outdoors, nevertheless, they help to produce a homely feeling. The old chimney and a roaring fire make them cozy; in a cold, winter day one comes to appreciate that chimney and the comfort derived from having your favorite drink sitting in front of the fire. In the summer, one can take advantage of the garden and the outdoors tables. Darts or a pool table often completes the decoration.

Initially food was not important in a pub, just a few snacks served at the bar or tables and mostly salty ones, to encourage more drinking. Pubs have gradually increased their food offer going through ploughman lunches – cold lunches including bread, cheese, pickles and a salad-  to full lunches and dinners, not as formal as a restaurant but sometimes very satisfying, though some pubs do have a small restaurant attached.

Worthy pubs

Pubs are licensed to sell alcoholic drinks and they sell mainly beer of all types and cider. In the smaller towns the pub is often at the core of social life. Many pubs would ofer a Sunday roast dinner at a set price.

There are plenty of iconic pubs in England. Some have been their current location since the 16th century. There is one pub in Salisbury that started business in the 14th century catering to the workers of the cathedral, who lodged there. The pub claiming to be the oldest working pub in England dates back to Saxon times. 

Cask ale - ale brewed and matured in the pub using traditional methods. Pumped by hand from the cellar. For many, this is the real ale.

Gastro-pub – pubs more centered on food than the traditional beer, rather like informal restaurants. In such a local meals are more dear than in a plain one.

Keg beer - industrially brewed beer, pasteurized, pressurized and chilled.

Landlord or publican – the owner or manager.

Local pub – the one you visit more often -usually the closest home- or, in small towns, the only pub.

Pub grub - food served in a pub. It was very simple once, sandwiches and such, but now you can eat at some pubs better than many restaurants.

Pub regulars – customers who visit the premises habitually.

Real alebeer, brewed using traditional ingredients and matured in the cask, where it goes under a secondary fermentation. Opposed to commercially brewed beer, said to be bland. Ales are made using top-fermenting yeast, opposed to bottom-fermenting yeasts for lagers, and they are the British traditional brew, opposed to lagers and ales brewed by large companies.