My 3xgreat grandparents ran a beer house in Walworth, London in 1878. I found their records at the London Metropolitan Archives. Was the relative's father in London?
There is two seperate registers, a calandar of licenses and a register of licenses for the London ones so it could be the same for ones for outside of London. You could also look him up in Trade Directories as well.
basically I have a marriage cert that states James Larkin a licensed victualler, the marriage took place in London (paddington) in 1865. The bride was Irish so you can see my headache unfurling.....
to top it all, the couple that married in 1865 married again in 1869 to each other and she names someone else as her father, (and subsequently in her 3rd marriage) she names the same name on the third marriage as the second for her father.