You are here: Agenda item

Agenda item

Brewdog Hopworks, 29-31 Essex Road, N1 2SA - New premises licence


The licensing officer reported that there had been no representations from the responsible authorities.  The noise team had reported no complaints since 2011 when Brewdog had operated at the premises previously.  He stated that there were tabled documents in support of the application from the applicant which would be interleaved with the agenda papers.


The applicant advised of amendments to conditions 33-35 to restrict hours from 9am to 9pm.


The interested party reported that she had not seen the additional information until the evening of the meeting.  The Chair advised that there could be a short recess for the interested party to read the information.  The interested party stated that she would continue with the hearing. 


The interested party stated that the premises already had a licence for the sale of alcohol which required food to be served with alcohol.  She raised concerns regarding the loss of this condition in a sensitive location which had a number of licensed premises.  She stated that the impact on the area would be considerable.  There would be a capacity of 100 people with another 24 sitting outside with no requirement to eat.  There would be the cumulative impact of people eating/drinking at one location and then moving onto other premises creating a disturbance to local residents.  She considered that the proposal for brewing was a smokescreen and there was a substantial cumulative impact which had not been dealt with.


In response to questions the local resident stated that she would not want outside drinking, however if a licence was granted to include outside drinking she would want it restricted to end at 7pm.


The applicant’s representative stated that Brewdog was a successful business and this branch would offer a brewing experience, where you could shop and buy and would have a convivial bar with board games.  It was not a loud music venue. There were a number of licensed premises with later hours in the vicinity with outside seating.  It was proposed to cease use of the tables and chairs at 10pm.  They had engaged with the resident who lived above the premises and he had not come back with further comments.  They would be closed late night when neighbouring venues were still open.  Brewdog did not equal irresponsible retailing.  The Managing Director stated that the Brewdog business had begun 10 years ago and now had 50 sites worldwide. A Hopworks had been opened in Glasgow and Manchester and they had a strong affinity to the home brewing movement.  !0% of the profits went to the staff and 10% went to a charity of their choice.  The business was mission focussed and about the community. The owners wanted home brewers to have the same benefits they’d had. The conditions should offer comfort to residents.  About twelve of their branches were beneath residential property and they had found that their neighbours were amongst their best customers.


In response to questions it was noted that a licence had been inherited which could be used the next day. The previous offering where food was conditioned to be offered with alcohol did not work.  They were not restaurant operators and they have had to step away from that concept.  They had developed a concept which fitted in with London and this location. There was to be a bar element with a limited capacity alongside a home brewing area.  If this was unsuccessful they would dispose of the site. With regard to the use of the outside tables and chairs, the applicant stated that the outside area was an important part of their offering.  They were not a late night operator and the hours between 5 and 8pm were their busiest time.  The outside areas were carefully monitored. Their premium pricing means that they had more mature customers. The applicant offered barriers for the outside seating if this was considered necessary.  There had been no issues with the Brewdog in Manchester and they considered that there would no problems if the outside space was used until 10pm.  The applicant’s representative stated that the tables and chairs licence would be renewed annually and if there was any issue the renewal could be opposed. The external area they did not see as a smoking space.  50% of the space would be allowed for smoking and this would be closely monitored.


In summary, the interested party stated that Islington had the highest density of licensed premises which brought health problems.  Alcohol served with a table meal reduced anti-social behaviour. There were no concerns regarding the management of the premises but it was considered that this was the wrong place for this type of venue.  If there were problems with the premises then local residents were left to deal with them. Customers would go to other premises after they had left Brewdog and remain in the area. 


The applicant’s representative reported that this venue was not the same as other local licensed premises but was interesting and different.  The Sub-Committee should consider each case on its merits. The Leeds case detailed in the papers ran parallel to this location. He did not see that there would be a negative cumulative impact.  A premium product was sold at a higher cost.  There had been no issues with this premises.  Brewdog had opened a second site in Leeds which had been successful.  This would be a restricted licence with conditions and the only licence in the area with a terminal hour of 11pm.  The Sub-Committee could be reassured that the licence could safely be granted.



1)       That the application for a new premises licence, in respect of Brewdog Hopworks, 29-31 Essex Road, N1 2SA be granted to allow:-


1)           The sale by retail of alcohol, on and off sales, from 10am to 11pm Mondays to Sundays. 

2)           The provision of late night refreshment, Mondays to Sundays from 11pm until 11.30pm.

3)           The premises to be open to the public, Mondays to Sundays from 10am until 11.30pm and

4)           The provision of all licensable activities from the start time on New Year’s Eve until the terminal hour authorised on New Year’s Day.  


Conditions detailed on pages 105-107 of the agenda shall be applied to the licence subject to the following amendments:-

Condition 19 to read. A minimum number of 42 internal seats and 24 external seats (subject to the grant of a tables and chairs licence permitting this and not after 20:00 in accordance with condition 40 below) will be maintained at the premises at all times it is trading.

Condition 40 to read. The external area shall cease to be used for drinking and dining at 20:00 hours daily.

Hours regarding conditions 33-35 to be restricted from 9am to 9pm.



The Sub-Committee listened to all the evidence and submissions and read all the material. The Sub-Committee reached the decision having given consideration to the Licensing Act 2003, as amended, and its regulations, the national guidance and the Council’s Licensing Policy.


The Sub-Committee took into consideration Licensing Policy 2.  The premises fall within the Angel and Upper Streetcumulative impact area.  Licensing policy 2 creates a rebuttable presumption that applications for new premises licences that are likely to add to the existing cumulative impact will normally be refused, unless an applicant can demonstrate why the operation of the premises involved will not add to the cumulative impact or otherwise impact adversely on the promotion of the licensing objectives.


The Sub-Committee noted that the hours sought were within the hours specified in licensing policy 8.


The Sub-Committee noted that there had been no representations made by the responsible authorities and that the applicant had met with officers prior to submitting the application and had incorporated a comprehensive list of proposed conditions consistent with the operating schedule.


The Sub-Committee heard evidence from an interested party raising objections to the application as it omitted to require that a meal be served with the sale of alcohol, that the licensed premises were situated in a sensitive location with a number of public houses and was considered to be a real hotspot. The resident raised objections to the drinking at outside tables and chairs which would cause disturbance and annoyance to local residents and invited the Sub-Committee to consider that the use of the tables and chairs be curtailed at 19:00 hours if the application was granted.


The Sub-Committee heard evidence that the applicant currently held a premises licence at the address which had longer hours of operation and that this new application had been submitted because the previous business model had not worked. The applicant informed the Sub-Committee that the busiest trading hours were from 17:00 hours to 20:00 hours and that it was an important part of the business to provide outside areas for drinking/eating.


The Sub-Committee was satisfied that the operating schedule specified detailed measures to mitigate against crime and disorder and public nuisance taking into account the location of the premises and the character of the area and the proposed hours during which licensable activities would take place. By restricting the hours for the use of tables and chairs to 20:00 hours the Sub-Committee concluded that granting the premises licence would not add to the existing cumulative impact and that with the proposed conditions in place the licensing objectives would be promoted.


The Sub-Committee also took into account licensing policy 9 regarding standards of management, licensing policies 18 and 19 regarding noise deliveries and collections and licensing 20 regarding smoking, drinking and eating outside.


Supporting documents: