A “50-man brawl” in a beer garden has led to landlords banning all under-21s from boozing at the popular pub.

The Hoy and Helmet, in Benfleet, announced yesterday that it would be banning anyone under the age of 21 from drinking at the venue unless they arrive with their family prior to 9pm. 

The rule change follows an incident on Friday when between 50 and 70 people allegedly had a huge brawl at the pub, with police launching an investigation. 

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Footage circulating social media showed the fight continued into the street, with traffic blocked by large groups.

The pub was forced to close as police attended the scene, with punters branding the incident “disgusting” and backing the decision to ban teenage drinkers. 

One Benfleet resident, who was at the pub at the time, said: “After the disgusting behaviour last Friday, I don’t blame the pub.

“My two friends and I in our 40s were enjoying the music and we’re gutted they had to close early.

“The behaviour from the yobs was a disgrace, and it was so out of control due to the size of it, so I guess this is the only way.”

The policy change means under-21s will not be permitted, unless they arrive in a family group before 9pm.

A spokesman for the Hoy & Helmet said: “We aim to be a friendly and welcoming pub and take our responsibilities to our community seriously.

“Following a recent incident at the pub on Friday night involving a group of young people, which led us to close the pub early, we took the difficult decision this week that those aged under 21 will need to be part of a family group if they are visiting us during the day and no-one aged under 21 is allowed after 9pm.

“This isn’t an easy decision, but we feel it is the right one and we would like to thank the vast majority of our customers who have always acted responsibly and behaved appropriately.”

No arrests have been made at this stage. 

An Essex Police spokesman said: “We were called to the Hoy and Helmet Pub on Benfleet High Street at around 10pm on Friday following reports of a fight involving a large group of people. 

“The number of people involved is undetermined but believed to be between 50-70.

On arrival, the group dispersed.

“No arrests made, and no serious injuries have been reported to us. 

“Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with any information is encouraged to contact us.”