Home > Beer > BrewDog Leeds: Appellant Alchemist

BrewDog Leeds: Appellant Alchemist

Further to my previous post on the initial licensing decision and as you may have read elsewhere, BrewDog were successful in their appeal of the initial refusal to grant a licence to their Leeds premises, and the new bar is intended to open in early 2013.

The initial decision concentrated on the crime figures linked to the existing late night economy in the immediate area. The District Judge was apparently rather more convinced by BrewDog’s submissions about promoting the educated appreciation of craft beer and their discerning clientele. I found the following paragraphs of District Judge Anderson’s* decision particularly interesting:

No doubt when the 2003 Licensing Act came into being, no-one foresaw the emergence of an operation such as Brewdog. They are a Scottish company specialising in craft beers with a devoted clientele. They do not operate large public houses selling cheap lager or cheap food. They have outlets in other cities including in cumulative impact areas where they operate well and without police objection. Now they seek to come to Leeds. [...]

The company takes a didactic approach, with books on brewing, and customers invited to watch instructional videos playing at their premises. Their customers could be described as “alcohol geeks.” They are not run of the mill or everyone’s cup of tea, but there is a demand for outlets selling a good quality of beer. [...]

If I accept, as I do, that the enterprise sells expensive beers in expensive measures, then I think I can conclude that the people likely to be attracted are not “get it down your neck” drinkers but rather better heeled customers. The type of clientele a premises attracts has a material part to the play in the decision, because if I am not worried about their clientele and am impressed by the running of their bars elsewhere, it follows that it is unlikely that their clientele will have any adverse impact on the area here.

Personally I’ll be glad that BrewDog has a presence in Leeds, if only so I can claim my shareholder discount, as a moderately-heeled alcohol geek who will buy expensive beer in expensive measures, provided I can convince myself I’m getting a bargain.

*Not to be confused with Judge Anderson.

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  1. September 20, 2012 at 12:00 am | #1

    They are an awesome operation! I have yet to have their entire lineup, but would be grateful if they made it available here!

    • September 20, 2012 at 5:43 pm | #2

      One of the best things about the bars is the imported beers, from Europe and the US.

      • September 20, 2012 at 5:55 pm | #3

        I agree, which is what I’m missing here in BC. I have yet to find an international bistro. I take it you’re in the UK?

  2. September 20, 2012 at 9:48 am | #4

    I think calling Brewdog TV on and endless loop an “instuctional video” is pushing it a little bit.
    Having said that I’m a regular in Brewdog Aberdeen. It is a well run trouble free pub, attracting a wide range of customers of all ages. It is also the only pub in Aberdeen where I have seen visibly drunk people refused service and asked to leave, even on occasion regulars who are well known to the bar staff. If you leave gracefully you are always welcome back. Younger looking drinkers are also asked for proof of age before being served.
    The policy of serving stronger beers in smaller measures also works well. You can drink a pint of Tokyo* if you want, but you are going to have to make 3 trips to the bar for it, and it gives the barstaff the option of refusal if by the 2nd third you’ve overdone it.
    They do educate customers about the product. Regular “Beer School” tasting sessions are are run and on occasion, the pilot brewplant from the Brewery will visit with one of the brewers for a Sunday afternoon of brewing in the bar.

    • September 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm | #5

      Cheers for the comment Ian. I’d like to go to the Aberdeen one, it sounds great. Quite the little university of beer, then.

  3. steve
    September 20, 2012 at 10:03 am | #6

    As far as I’m concerned, the more brewdog bars in places I’m likely to visit the better. The Bristol one opens in time for my Birthday

    • September 20, 2012 at 5:46 pm | #7

      Cool. Some of the previous ones, like Newcastle, seem to have run a little behind schedule and they’re busy boys this year.

  4. September 20, 2012 at 10:46 am | #8

    Here’s to us ‘better heeled customers’ – cheers!

    I will need to pay a visit to Leeds sometime early next year

    • September 20, 2012 at 5:45 pm | #9

      Do, and let me know if and when you fancy meeting over a couple of expensive measures of expensive beer.

  5. September 20, 2012 at 12:37 pm | #10

    BrewDog Edinburgh has some of the best bar staff I’ve ever come across – they absolutely know what they are doing.

    ‘Expensive beer in expensive measures’ – dictionary definition of ‘craft’ ? ;-)

    • September 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm | #11

      It’s as good as any. I might add, “…and served in fancy glassware”.

  6. September 20, 2012 at 9:32 pm | #12

    storiesbywilliams :

    I agree, which is what I’m missing here in BC. I have yet to find an international bistro. I take it you’re in the UK?

    Yep, here in leeds. (Where’s BC?)

  7. September 21, 2012 at 9:53 am | #13

    Great to see the council separating the bingers from the appreciators. Makes me have faith in the world!

  8. September 21, 2012 at 10:46 am | #14

    Very good idea !

  1. September 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm | #1
  2. September 21, 2012 at 11:20 am | #2

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