It's a central presence in our society and culture, but how much do we really know about the Irish pub? This comprehensive history entertainingly examines its evolution.The Bruideans were ancient public houses and, according to legend, one owner had an obligation to sleep with any single woman who looked for hospitality. In Norman times, brewing was normally a female occupation, carried out by 'alewives'.The Celtic Tiger gave us super pubs and then there is the phenomenon of packaged 'Irish Pubs'.This engaging history also analyses the Irish pub in an international context, from its role in the lives of emigrants to its representation in cinema, television, literature and animation. It gives insight into the current state of the industry, too, and reflects on the future: the pub is changing, and technology is altering the way we interact. Will the Irish pub survive in a form that we recognise?This celebration of these spaces of pleasure, pain and rites of passage is a reaffirmation of the need to cherish the pub as part of our living heritage and built environment.