Consumers want coffee shops to sell craft beer alongside their existing speciality brews, according to new research from the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA).
The research, conducted by MCA, found a fifth of people in the UK would visit coffee shops more often if they sold British craft beers.
The findings have prompted SIBA to extend its Beerflex service, which supplies the UK’s biggest pub companies with ‘independent’ beer from SIBA breweries, to now serve coffee shops too.
SIBA managing director Mike Benner said: ‘Many of the UK’s large coffee chains, Costa Coffee, Starbucks, Harris + Hoole – who are owned by Tesco – have already begun to look to increase the number of outlets with alcohol licenses and the idea of coffee shops as all-day venues is something they are taking extremely seriously.’
In 2015 there were 20,728 coffee shops in the UK according to Allegra, a number expected to soar to 30,000 by 2016. The number of branded coffee chains rose by 12% during 2025.
Benner added: ‘It’s important, though, that coffee shops that pride themselves on serving high quality, expertly prepared coffee, don’t let their offering slip when it comes to beer.
‘The UK’s craft brewing industry has never been stronger or more exciting and there is a clear fit between coffee shops and craft-brewed beer – particularly craft canned and bottled beers, which are small, light and easy to store, but offer amazing flavour and quality.’
There has been a rise in the number of coffee shops beginning to offer alcohol in recent years. The Starbucks Evenings concept offers alcohol after 4pm, but has so far only been rolled out to a very limited number of stores. Meanwhile coffee and food chain Pret has been trialling a dinner service with alcohol available at its Strand store in central London for a year, but has not yet rolled out the concept.