Good news Chester, the wait is over! Big Hand Brewery have opened their Tap Room on Watergate Street. Last Thursday they popped their doors open for a soft launch and over the weekend they’ve welcomed all beer lovers to their beery embrace.
You might remember the venue as the old Fat Cat or more recently, the Mockingbird. I can’t speak much for the Fat Cat because I think that was well before my time (as a persistent beer enthusiast in this city) but I do remember the Mocking Bird and to be brutally honest, their beer selection was mediocre at best. I don’t think it was ever intended as a beer haven (in fact I’m pretty sure it wasn’t) but this tap room definitely is.
Apart from a multitude of their own beers (like Seren, Bastion and Spectre) they’ve got breweries like Stonehouse, Redemption and Great Heck representing on cask and Salopian and Burning Sky on keg. And their bottle selection is, we understand, ever growing as well. And, if you get peckish while enjoying a pint (or six) they do sharing platters and pies, too.
I like that they’ve gone for an almost “saloon like” look with the tap room, with the wood-clad walls and darker colour theme. And I’ll confess I completely forgot how enormous this place was. Every time you think you’ve seen all of it, there’s another nook you haven’t come across yet. Lots of room for lots of beer lovers, which obviously is an added bonus – we beer folks are (for the most part and definitely after a few pints) sociable creatures and like company.
I’m really looking forward to seeing this new tap room grow and take its rightful place in the Chester beer scene. If you haven’t been yet, you should totally pay them a visit.