A new off licence should be appearing in the heart of Commercial Street within a couple of months, after a licence was granted for a shop selling “craft” beer including Shetland ales.
Owner Stuart Fox intends to break new ground with Beervanna, which he will open at 133 Commerical Street, which was previously home to the North Rock Gallery.
The ground and first floors of the three-storey building will be dedicated to retail activities, including tastings, with the second floor used for storage.
In answer to questions at a meeting of the licensing board on Monday afternoon, Mr Fox explained that his outlet for quality beers from local, national and international sources would be promoting the message of responsible enjoyment of alcohol with the emphasis on quality, not quantity.
The craft beer sector is one of the few drinks areas to be growing both in the US and the UK, he said, and part of the aim of Beervanna was to cultivate beer drinking in much the way that wine has developed with occasional tastings and events.
Mr Fox told the board that the shop, which will also sell rare malts and other tipples, that the venture would “add a bit of theatre” and provide something unique in Shetland while promoting drinking for “enjoyment” and “experience” rather than to get drunk.
He added: “I hope to provide something that’s not been available in Shetland at the moment. This will promote craft beer from around the UK and across the globe.”
Mr Fox was granted an off sales licence for 133 Commercial Street from 10am to 10pm Monday to Saturday and a licence from 12.30pm to 10pm on Sunday.
The board also heard that there had been no increase in crime or disorder in Commercial Street in the past few years, despite there being nine or 10 licensed premises in a small space, nor was there any evidence that the presence of an off-licence would lead to disruption, litter or drunken behaviour.
The board also granted licences to the Peerie Shop Cafe and its outside seating area for 11am to 11pm for bottled beers and wine to be served with its food and drink menu. One application, from James Martin, was from Saturday 30th May to 12th June and a second, from Emma Gibson, was from 13th June to 26th June.