From “wet led” to “dry led”: Food and the contested framing of alcohol establishments

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


A shift is underway in the licensed trade from drink-led to food-led establishments. The current literature emphasises two underpinning reasons: (i) the need for pubs, bars and craft venues to diversify their income streams in an increasingly competitive sector, and (ii) changes in consumer demand and preferences for the availability of food, especially in “craft” establishments. This chapter argues that a third reason has been neglected: the long-standing regulatory pressure for establishments to provide food alongside alcohol. Drawing on archival research and Local Authority licensing data, this chapter argues that the shift to food-led provision in licensed establishments must be understood as part of an enduring regulatory concern to foster a more “civilised” drinking culture – namely, a seated, café-style, “more European” approach to consumption – in which patrons drink alcohol alongside food.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearching Craft Beer
Subtitle of host publicationUnderstanding Production, Community and Culture in an Evolving Sector
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2021

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© 2021 Emerald Publishing Ltd.This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy.

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