What’s in a name?

The stagecoach stop built by Sebastian Fryfogel in 1845 goes by not one, but four names today: Fryfogel Inn, Fryfogel Tavern, Fryfogels Tavern and Fryfogel’s Tavern. Take your pick. Here on the website, though, we’ll stick with Fryfogel Tavern for now.

But what might distinguish an inn from a tavern, or alehouse then or now?

In Shakespeare’s Pub, Pete Brown cites an old legal document that does little to clarify this issue:

“Every inn is not an alehouse, nor every alehouse an inn; but if an inn uses common selling of ale, it is then also an alehouse; and if an alehouse lodges and entertains travellers, it is also an inn.”

One important distinction that certainly applied in Shakespeare’s day was that those who gathered in high class inns were willing and able to pay more for their beer than the folk who frequented taverns or alehouses. Some things never change.