It was ever thus.
In 1830 Parliament passed the Beer Act. There were serious concerns in those days about the consumption of cheap gin, then a fairly recent invention. The act was designed to promote beer as a more healthy beverage than gin and enable any rate-payer to apply for a 2 guinea license from the excise authorities to brew and sell beer from their home. The Beer Shop was born. They were distinct from taverns and alehouses, usually larger operations, which were still required to get their license from the Justices of the Peace. So in the context of Wolverton the proprietors of the Radcliffe Arms and later the Royal Engineer would need to make application for their licenses to the local bench, whereas George Spinks, the owner of the Locomotive Beer Shop needed only to pay his two guineas to the Excise and set up his own brewing pails to remain in business. Later in the century successive acts of 1869 and 1872 brought all establishments selling or dispensing alcohol under much tighter control.
Wolverton only ever had one beer shop. It was located at the very north end of Bury Street beside the canal. It probably opened in 1840, as soon as it had been built, and operated as an Eating House and Beer Shop until it was pulled down in the later part of the 1850s to make way for workshop expansion.
At the station close to the canal bank there was a small temperance coffee-house, kept by a man named Spinks. A few of us thought that we might hold a Sunday School there. We obtained the use of the room, and started the Sunday School, and I taught there on Sunday forenoon and afternoon for some time. That was the first and for more than a year the only religious service of any kind in Wolverton.