Licensing hours were long, 18 hours a day, 4am to 10pm, seven days a week. Closed only during Divine Service, Christmas Day and Good Friday.
As an inn the Mug House could, and did, remain open as long as a bed was empty offering basic accommodation, food, homebrewed ale and stabling if required.
Retail brewers in rural Worcestershire specialised in one style of ale. This was mild, sweet, strong and lighter in colour than the heavy traditional Black Country beers. The average Bewdley gravity was 1060 – the second strongest in England.
In 1849 Benjamin Smith, 27, a sawyer, succeeded his brother Robert Smith as licensee. He was married to wife Ann, 20, with three children, Thomas, 4, Jane, 2 and Joseph, 1. The family were also proprietors of the Cock and (Mag) Pie, and Dog and Wheel, 17 Dog Lane.