This is the new ale house in Chester

Good news Chester, the wait is over! Big Hand Brewery have opened their Tap Room on Watergate Street. You’ve probably heard rumours about it for a while now, but finally on Thursday last week they flung their doors open for a soft opening and now, after what seems like months of waiting, they’re finally officially open for business. Huzzah!



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 fair city) but I do remember the Mockingbird and if I’m brutally honest, the Mockingbird’s beer selection was mediocre at best. In fact, I think I’m being rather generous. It was not a place for beer lovers. This new ale house, on the other hand (see what I did there?) definitely is.



Apart from a all their own beers (like Seren, Bastion and Spectre) Big Hand’s got breweries like Stonehouse, Redemption and Great Heck representing on cask and Salopian and Burning Sky on keg. Being vertically challenged I found it somewhat difficult to peer over the bar and inspect their fridges, but I have it on good authority that they will be filled with all kinds of goodies later on. And, if you get peckish while enjoying a pint (or six, like me) they do sharing platters and pies, too. Proper ale house grub, that.



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. I’m a sucker for such things. And I’ll confess I completely forgot how enormous this place was. Maybe I’ve blocked memories of the old Mockingbird from my mind, but I found that every time I thought you’ve seen all of it, there’s another nook or cranny I hadn’t explored 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. Well, I do anyway.



I’m kinda excited about this place, y’all. It’s got room to grow and I personally think it’s a great (and much needed) addition to the beer scene in Chester. If you haven’t been yet, you should totally pay them a visit.


The taproom is on TWITTER and so are the BREWERY. Go give them some love, y’all.

  • Hannah

    This place looks great, look the cups!

  • Jasmin N

    That place looks so cosy & instagrammable too! 🙂 fingers crossed I’ll get to visit in Chester one day!

  • whitney

    This looks like such a fun place! I love local spots like this one 🙂 And those glasses are on point!

  • They definitely have that “saloon vibe” down pat! I would stop through if I was in Chester. 🙂

  • Rebecca

    this place looks great – it’s always good to find somewhere with a good range of real ale and food. I’m loving the decor too. Your post reminded me I’ve not been to Chester for years so I need to plan a trip. It’s only down the road from me in Eccles. Love Bec

  • What an exciting new addition – I do love it when a new venue opens up! Always great for adding a bit of variety. I love their branded pint glasses! Charlie xo