North-east beer giants BrewDog are seeking immediate operating hours for their latest bar and restaurant in Inverurie – despite not possessing a provisional licence.
Responding to calls from its shareholders for an outlet in the town, the Ellon-based company is currently investing £500,000 in the new venture at 20-22 Market Street.
The 20 staff to be employed at the bar will see the number of BrewDog employees in Aberdeenshire soar to more than 300.
But the Aberdeenshire Central Licensing Board meeting in Inverurie on Wednesday this week will hear that a miscommunication between the brewery and its agents resulted in a delay in a provisional licence application being made earlier this year.
Now keen to begin trading as soon as possible, BrewDog have applied for occasional licences running from April 20 to May 31 which would enable on-sales from 11am to 1am and off-sales from 10am to 10pm Monday to Sunday.
Audrey Junner of agents Hill Brown Licensing stresses there is no intention to trade by way of occasional licences for an extended period of time.
She states: “The applications have been submitted due to a genuine error and delay and are not sought as a way of circumventing the licensing process.
“We would like to reassure members that a provisional premises licence has been submitted… for the avoidance of doubt my clients wholly accept that no assumptions can be made about the grant of that provisional licence.
“They have undertaken the fit-out works at the business entirely at their own risk.”
But licensing standards will remind the board that while a provisional licence has been applied for, it will not be discussed until the board’s June meeting and could receive representations or objections which could impact on BrewDog’s operation.
Lisa Gordini says: “Depending on representations and/or objections, the applicant could come before the Central Licensing Board to determine which could result in the application or parts of the application not being granted.”
She maintains there is an argument to state that the board should not be granting any occasional licences which may “conflict with the consultation process” of the provisional licence application.