The project was led by Oliver Bussell, partner in Rix & Kay’s Sevenoaks office, who leads the firm’s planning practice. Oliver was supported by colleagues from Rix & Kay’s wider Commercial Property team.
The Beer Merchants Tap is due to open in Hackney Wick in January 2018. To help fund the project, Cave Direct are running a Crowdfunding platform that offers people £2 to spend in the Tap for every £1 they invest.
Fifteen years after closing their first bottleshop in southeast London to focus on distribution, Cave Direct will open the doors of an old book store right by Hackney Wick station. The 3,000 sq ft site will be an industrial but comfortable space with a large beer garden, encompassing a taproom, bottleshop and Belgian sour blendery.
The pub side of the site will be dedicated to the best beer around the world, with over 20 keg lines and cask, bringing in Cave Direct’s core portfolio of Paulaner and Kona as well as rotational lines from their Belgian, British, Norwegian and American range.
The Tap will also work as a physical extension of their online shop, Beer Merchants, allowing customers to pick up online orders free of charge and buy beer to drink in or takeaway. They will have over 700 different beers available in the fridges, as well as a bottle-ageing project hidden away for schedule releases.
The site will also work as a school of excellence in beer serving and cellarmanship, and offer training to Cave Direct trade customers in both sommelier skills and cellar management. It will also provide a venue for trade meetings and tastings.
Managing Director, Colin Gilhespy, says: “My dad founded Cave Direct back in 1979 and when I joined my first job was setting up our little bottleshop in south-east London. Since that closed, opening our own taproom is something we’ve always wanted to do. The Tap allows us to create a wonderful place for beer lovers to try the hundreds of incredible beers we bring in, as well as a centre of excellence to help our customers look after their beer and make sure their own sites excel.”
The crowdfunding, which launched at the start of November, aims to raise at least £50,000 to go towards fitting out the building. Members can pledge between £50 and £1,000, and in return will get double that on a gift card to spend in the pub as well as 5% off at BeerMerchants.com for life.
The Crowdfunder page can be found here: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/opening-the-beer-merchants-tap.