Drinks Industry Guide

Drinks bottles and coffee beans

Here you will find sources of information such as market research (statistics, trends, and developments), key companies, trade magazines, newsletters, and Internet sources.

This guide will be useful to anyone starting a business within the drinks industry and for those wanting to further their knowledge within this area.

Start-Up Information

COBRA logo
accessible via electronic databases
The Cobra database contains practical fact-sheets on all aspects of starting, running and managing a small business – including information on writing business plans, marketing, company structures etc.

It also covers the practical aspects of how to start and run particular types of businesses – outlining necessary skills, regulations, licences and legislation etc. and highlights other sources of information and advice available.

Business Opportunity Profiles (BOP) 

Coffee Shop BOP391 
Microbrewery  BOP074 
Off License  BOP487 
Public House  BOP117 
Smoothie and Juice Bar  BOP104 
Speciality Smoothie and Flavoured Milk Maker  MBP243 
Tea Room  BOP087 
Wine and Cocktail Bar  BOP350 
Wine Merchant  BOP561 

Food Research Guide

Food and Sector Guide   SRG003 

Small Business Help Books 

This is a collection of books with practical information aimed at those starting and running a business. Located in the Business & IP Centre.

Pubs, Bars and Clubs handbook, formerly the Publican’s handbook: advice and ideas for running a successful licensed business by Danny Blyth, Kogan Page, 2003 [General Reference Collection YD.2014.a.2825]
A book on how to run licensed premises, including articles on specific issues about selling drink and food profitably, and staff management.

Start and run a sandwich and coffee shop by Jill Sutherland, 2010 [Digital Content via Catalogue]
Setting up and running a successful sandwich and coffee shop with practical information location, tax, health and safety, fitting and furnishings, marketing etc.

The Coffee Boys' step-by-step guide to setting up and managing your own coffee bar: how to open a coffee bar that actually lasts and makes money by John Richardson & Hugh Gilmartin, 2014 [Digital Content via Catalogue]
Book on how to open a coffee bar or sandwich bar that is sustainable and profitable. This work offers practical advice on location, raising finance, and devising a clear marketing plan.

Wake up and sell the coffee 2014 by Martyn Dawes (2013) 
[Business Topics (B) SBH.BT.154]
A “how I did it” start-up book by the man behind Coffee Nation, a firm that supplies vending machines making freshly made, non-instant, high-quality coffee to supermarkets, convenience stores. 

Wake up and sell more coffee: fresh ways to make money from your coffee business by John Richardson & Hugh Gilmartin, 2015 [Digital Content via Catalogue]
52 practical hints, tips and tricks to help improve a coffee business. Save money, make money, gain loyal customers.

The Winegrowers' handbook: a practical guide to setting up a vineyard and winery in the UK by Belinda Kemp & Emma Rice, 2012 [Business Topics (B) SBH.BT.147]
A practical guide to setting up a vineyard and winery in the United Kingdom.

Market Research & Statistics 

If you are planning on starting a business you will need to be aware of the latest trends, developments and opportunities within your industry which can all be found from market research.

Market research also covers market size and forecasts, consumer demographics and attitudes, the key players and products and will often include SWOT and PEST analysis showing areas of strength, weakness, opportunities etc.

eMarketer logo

  • What products are UK digital buyers buying digitally
  • Primary reason that US digital buyers have purchased food and beverages products digitally

IBISWorld logo

  • Alcohol Beverages Wholesaling in the UK
  • Bottled water production in the UK
  • Spirits Production in the UK
  • Beer Production in the UK
  • Soft Drinks Production in the UK
  • Juice Production in the UK
  • Cafes and Coffee Shops in the UK
  • Wine Production in the UK

Mintel logo

  • Attitudes towards Craft Alcoholic Drinks
  • Beer
  • Bottled Water
  • Cider
  • Coffee
  • Coffee Shops
  • Dark Spirits and Liqueurs
  • Drinking in the Home
  • Drinking outside the Home
  • Still, Sparkling and Fortified Wines
  • Tea and Other Hot Drinks
  • White Spirits and RTDs

Passport logo

  • Tea in the United Kingdom
  • RTD Coffee in the United Kingdom
  • Soft drinks in the United Kingdom
  • Beer in the United Kingdom
  • Wine in the United Kingdom
  • Fine Wines/Champagne and Spirits in the United Kingdom
  • Juice in the United Kingdom
  • Cider/Perry in the United Kingdom
  • Spirits in the United Kingdom
  • Bottled Water in the United Kingdom
  • Carbonates in the United Kingdom

GlobalData logo

  • Food and Drinks Specialists

EMIS logo

  • Beverages Manufacturing

Please note that many articles about the drinks industry (from business journals and newspapers) are available from our electronic sources: eMarketer, Business Source Complete (EBSCO), Factiva, and ABI Inform Global.

Business News & Journals

In order to find the latest news on your topic it is always worth searching Factiva, Business Source Complete and EMIS.

You will find articles from specialist business and academic journals, as well as newspapers and magazines. You may also find market research reports and case studies. As well as profiles of leading industry figures.

You will also find articles covering recent developments, and predicting future trends in your industry.

Trade Magazines and Newsletters

Useful for gaining inside knowledge, recent trends, industry news, company profiles, reviews of new products and services. Some contain annual reviews and company contact lists. Ordered via Explore the British Library (please ask for help).

Bar (CIM Online, monthly) [(P) 647.954105 – E (1) Business]
A magazine for the upmarket pub and bar industry. It includes news, product announcements, market information, profiles of individual bars and people, and technical help.

Beverage Industry (BNP Media, monthly) [(P) HR77 – E(3)] (Science 2)
An American magazine with news, product announcements, technical material and a marketplace section. Covers both alcoholic and soft drinks.

Beverage World (Macfadden Communications Group, monthly) [(P) HR77 – E(2)] (Science 2)
An American magazine with worldwide coverage of both alcoholic and soft drinks. Includes news, product announcements, technical articles, and a detailed annual market research report on USA drinks market sectors in the June issue.

Brewer and Distiller International (Institute of Brewing & Distilling, monthly) [(P) 663.3 – E(1)] (Science 2)
A magazine on beer and spirits, with news, technical and agricultural material, and profiles of individual businesses.

Brewers’ Guardian (PJB Publications Ltd, monthly) [(P) DE 25 – E(14)] (Science 2)
Described on the front cover as 'The International Brewery Industry Magazine' this publication includes news reviews and feature articles relating to particular countries. There are also articles on brewing processes together with book reviews, descriptions of new products, equipment and, in each issue, a classified trade directory.

Brewing and Beverage Industry International (Verlag W. Sachon, quarterly) [(P) AL 75 – E(80)]
Each issue carries a section on world news, articles about different aspects of the brewing process and about particular breweries, details of events and information about allied industries and their products. 

The Drinks Business (The Drinks Business, monthly) [(P) 338.47663105 – E(1) Business]
A magazine on all elements of the alcoholic drink industry, with news, profiles of individual businesses, product announcements and market data.

Drinks International (Reed Business Information Ltd, monthly) [(P) HR 77 – E(7)] (Science 2)
A magazine with global trends and brand news for all types of alcoholic beverages.

Grape Press (UK Vineyards Association, twice yearly) [(P) DY 79 (G1) E(6)] (Science 2)
UK Vineyards Association industry periodical with articles on agricultural, technical and business information on wine grape-growing and winemaking.

OLN: Off Licence News (William Reed Publishing Ltd, fortnightly) [(P) AL 934-E (1)] 
The below-title description is 'the voice of drinks retailing'. The magazine includes news relating to the brewing industry, features on beer articles on particular public houses and off-licences and the regular 'Brands Bulletin' ('a look at all the latest launches, campaigns and promotions').

The Publican’s Morning Advertiser (William Reed Business Media, weekly) [Newspaper Library, also available online]
Trade magazine for publicans, including news articles and product announcements.


Contain lists of companies and industry contacts. Some have annual industry reviews, and specialist articles.

BFBi Directory 2019/2020 (The Brewing Food & Beverage Industry Suppliers Association, 2018) [(B) DIR 338.47663]
An industry handbook that lists worldwide suppliers of products and services for the brewing, food and beverage industry.

Brauereien und Malzereien in Europa: Breweries and Maltsters in Europe 2016 (Hoppenstedt Firmeninformationen GmbH. Annual, 2016) [(B) DIR 338.7663420254]
Provides statistical information relating to the distribution of breweries together with details of British companies, professional associations and schools/institutes. There is also information about titles produced by the British trade press and a classified list of suppliers. Text is given in English as well as German. 

The Brewery Manual & Who’s Who in the UK Brewing and Scotch Whisky Distilling 2018 (Advantage Publishing Ltd, 2018) [(B) DIR 338.47663302541 BUS] 
A comprehensive guide to the UK brewing and scotch whisky industry with details of brewing companies, key figures in the industry, suppliers and trade statistics.

The Drinks Business Brands Report 2012 (The Drinks Business Ltd, 2012) [(B) DIR 380.14564121] 
This publication provides a list of the top ten wine brands, the top ten champagne, spirits and beer brands and has a listing of alcoholic beverages marketing and promotion agencies.

The Grocer Directory of Manufacturers & Suppliers 2018 (William Reed Business Media, 2018) [(B)] DIR 380.1456402541] 
Provides contact details, turnover and product information for European companies. Also includes indices for products and brand names.

Harpers Wine & Spirit Directory 2019 (Harper Trade Journals Ltd, 2019) [(B) DIR 663.1029441] 
Comprehensive listing of wine and spirit companies in the UK and Ireland with additional listings on brands, service providers to the trade, associations and promotion bodies and an international directory.

Monty Waldin’s Biodynamic Wine Guide 2011 (Matthew Waldin, 2011) [(B) DIR 634.8884] 
This directory lists worldwide wineries that produce wines according to the “biodynamic” system of cultivation developed by Rudolph Steiner.

Food & Beverage Market Place 2018 (Grey House Publishing) [(B) DIR 338.761664002573] 
This directory lists brokers, importers, exporters, wholesalers and distributors that include alcoholic drinks for the United States only.

Uker’s International Tea & Coffee Directory & Buyers’ Guide 2018 (Ukers) [(B) DIR 663.940294 BUS]
Global directory for the tea and coffee trade with listings of brokers, importers and exporters, packers, processors and machinery and equipment.

Internet Sources

Websites containing free sources of industry statistics, information and contacts.


Business information for executives and decision makers within the global automotive, beverage, food and apparel industries. Some free information and insight available on their website. 


Has international coverage and includes links to websites for breweries, pubs, pub guides, beer festivals and online retailers. It is also possible to search the site for particular types of real ale. 

Brewing, Food & Beverage Industry Supplier’s Association 

Gives addresses of relevant associations, describes the various services available from the BFBI and provides an events calendar. There is also a bulletin board where questions can be posted. Some of the information on the site is accessible only by members of the Association (contact details for membership are given).  

British Beer and Pub Association (formerly the Brewers and Licensed Retailers Association) 

Includes information about the history and different types of beer, brewing/sales/export statistics (for the UK and the rest of Europe), UK beer exporters, the brewing process and visits to breweries. There are also links to web sites covering Careers in Brewing and Licensed Retailing and relevant press releases. 

CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) 

Includes news, information about real ale, details of campaigns and listings of beer festivals and descriptions of pubs that serve real ale and have historic interiors. 

Cask Marque 

Provides details of the pubs that display the Cask Marque sign as an assurance that they supply quality cask beer. Also included are an annual report on the cask ale market, guidelines for serving beer, an events diary and the text of a series of regional guides. 

Cider UK 

Association that promotes the interests and good practice of cider producers in the UK. Includes news, a member’s directory, advice on cider marking, and some brief market information.

Great British Beer 

This is the 'web directory of British beer and brewing'. There are three searchable databases - 'Brewery and Beer Information', 'Companies Providing Beer Related Services and Allied Trades' and 'Home Brew Shops and Suppliers'. Each database contains contact information and product names. 

Health and Safety Executive

The HSE publishes a guide to health and safety for catering and hospitality businesses.

Independent Family Brewers of Britain 

As well as giving statistics relating to the Independent Family Brewers of Britain organisation and to the British beer market this site provides links to members’ websites and to the latest news stories. 

Institute of Brewing & Distilling 

Previously the Institute and Guild of Brewing this website includes information about the training and examinations provided by the Guild (links to articles about training are included), news about malt and barley and a link to the catalogue of the National Brewing Library at Oxford Brookes University. 

Just Drinks 

Online portal for beverage industry professionals around the world. Has free news and comment, and more in-depth market research available to purchase. 

Malsters’ Association of Great Britain 

Includes information about the UK malting industry (including exports), a list of members of the Association, a description of how malt is made, links to articles discussing food safety aspects and a map showing malting sites in the UK. 

Tea and Coffee Trade Journal

Featuring new products and news for the tea and coffee industries. 

The British Hospitality Association (BHA) 

Represents members of the hospitality industry and lobbies the Government on issues affecting businesses in the sector. 

The Beverage Service Association (BSA)

A membership association for the out-of-home beverage industry, including retailers selling beverages to customers. Membership benefits include copies of 'In the Cup' and 'Café Business' magazines, access to a helpline, training and legal updates. Retailer membership costs £55 per year. 

The Food Standards Agency (FSA)

An independent Government department that provides guidance and information for businesses in relation to food safety. 

The Nationwide Caterers Association (NCASS)

Trade association for static and mobile caterers, including smoothie and juice bars. 

The Morning Advertiser

This is a web site for the UK pub industry’s main commercial trade newspaper. It includes a directory of suppliers, which can be searched by company name or by using structured subject headings amongst which 'beer (ales and stouts)' and 'beer line cleaning' are included. There is also a brands directory and details of the contents of the special reports published by The Publican. 

The Portman Group

Lobbying and social responsibility group for the alcohol industry dealing with political and health issues. Administers the Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks (drink packaging must make the alcoholic nature of the contents clear, and packaging, branding and promotional material must not appeal to children, link drinking with sexual activity or popularity, claim health benefits, or encourage excessive drinking or antisocial behaviour). 

The Speciality Coffee Association of Europe

A membership association for coffee bars and related businesses. Membership benefits include training via the Barista Certification Programme and opportunities to attend catering and beverage events. Membership costs start from £122 a year for one coffee shop. 

UK Tea & Infusions Association 

A membership body for tea producers, manufacturers and retailers. Its website contains a searchable directory of members along with news about the industry. 

Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) 

Sets out to be a 'web resource for brewers, retailers and drinkers'. It covers news, information about awards, competitions, events, details of SIBA campaigns (including Kegwatch) and links to breweries that are SIBA members. 

Wine and Spirit Association 

UK trade association representing the whole wine and spirit industry including producers, importers and wholesalers.  

Please note that every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however some recently acquired items may since have been added to the collection. Please ask for help at the enquiry desk or check the online catalogue Explore the British Library for more details.

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