BrewDog wins licence despite police fears

26th February, 2014 by Lauren Eads

BrewDog has been granted a licence to open a craft beer bar in Liverpool, despite objections from police and council trading standards officials.

BrewDog's new pub in Bristol

BrewDog’s pub in Bristol

Scottish craft beer company BrewDog applied to Liverpool Council to open a craft beer bar in Colquitt Street.

But were met with opposition from the council’s licensing committee and the police who said it would add to the “cumulative impact” of anti-social behaviour and alcohol fuelled violence in the area.

In 2012 the council introduced a new policy covering part of the town centre which tends toward rejecting applications for bars in the area.

However, according to The Liverpool Echo, a licensing meeting held yesterday resulted in the licence being approved with BrewDog successfully arguing the bar would have a positive rather than negative impact.

According to Anthony Lyons, who was representing BrewDog, only one objection was received from a nearby tenant following the brewer’s consultation with residents.

The bar would be licensed to serve beer until midnight and close at 12.30pm, but not to play any live or recorded music.

Speaking at the meeting, The Liverpool Echo reported Mr Lyons said: “The mission of BrewDog is one of education and transformation. It’s not about drink as much as you can get down your throat – it’s not that at all.

“It’s about appreciating a fine craft beer like you would a fine wine.

“It’s largely seated. It’s the antithesis of where guys go and stand, it’s not the mini dress, the baseball hat, it’s completely the opposite of that.”

Representing the police, Police Constable Spencer Neal said there had been a 25% rise in assaults in the area, which had led to the policy to refuse to new licensing bids.

He said: “There is talk of BrewDog attracting more mature, well-heeled customers.

“Aside from this being aspirational we don’t know what type of crowd they would attract in Liverpool.

“To grant this licence would hurt this CIP area, in which we are struggling already.”

However, Andy Blackmore, from the council’s licensing authority, said was “an excellent application” that would not have received representation at all had it been outside of the designated “cumulative impact” area.

On winning its application James Watt, BrewDog co-founder, said: “We’re thrilled that Liverpool’s licensing council approved our proposal to open a BrewDog bar on Colquitt Street. When news broke yesterday that we were coming up against some unfounded concerns, we were inundated with comments supporting our application on social media. It was insane!

“There is a real passion and deep understanding of what craft beer is about, and that was made patently clear by Liverpool’s residents yesterday. The response really proved that Liverpool’s craft beer fans understand and love great beer, which was so awesome to see. See you soon, Liverpool!”

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