The West Arms

Life in the Valley: Big Hand Brewing

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Originally started by Uncle and Nephew team in 2012, Big Hand Brewing has quickly established itself as a big player in the North Wales craft brewing scene. It has been providing guests at The West Arms (pub in North East Wales) with a range of its local brews for years. 

Racking up five SIBA Regional awards in three years, Managing Director, Dave Shaw, talks about the ale of the festive season, his plans for the brewery in 2022 and his hands? 

Why Big Hand? what’s in the name?  

“It is very simple really, I can wave my hands around a bit when explaining something.  I was doing this with my work colleagues when telling them about my plans for the brewery.  And one of them commented on the size of my hands as I was waving them about.  And I knew in that instant what I was going to call the brewery. 

The craft brewing market is a busy place these days, how do you stay on top of it? What makes your brews different?  

“It is a busy place.  We make beers that come from a tradition that is hundreds of years in the making but we have developed a more modern profile.  The key thing is consistency.  We spend a lot of time and effort making sure every brew is identical to the last one.  It is no use being brilliant one week if the next you are just average.  

What is the star brew of the festive season?  

Our Winter Seasonal beer is Juul – a dark ale with a rich Malty body and just a hint of chocolate and roast coffee. 

What is the best way to enjoy this ale at your local pub in North East Wales ? 

“Juul is fantastic with rich heartwarming casseroles, or Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.  But it will also go nicely with almost any type of chocolate desserts and even a Christmas Pudding.  It is a beer to complement, not contrast. 

Where is your favourite outdoor place/attraction to visit in North East Wales? 

“Fairly easy this, The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal, which has just had a website makeover.  My background is Civil Engineering and this World Heritage site never ceases to blow me away. 

What is next for Big Hand?

“2022 is looking very exciting at the moment. We now have a new Shareholder and Director; John Smith who comes with a real passion for the industry and a whole lot of Business knowledge and experience. 

“We have started bottle conditioning our beers and we will be distributing those out to the more exclusive and discerning outlets in North East Wales; Farm shops and Bottle shops as well as Restaurants and Pubs.  We will also be expanding our range of beers and adding Kegged products to our line up of Cask Ales.  These will have a more Contemporary feel to allow us to present our beers to a wider audience.”

Big Hand Brewing Co. Ltd. is a family owned and run 10bbl (1.7 HL) microbrewery, based in Wrexham.  

You can enjoy a selection of well stocked wines, spirits and ales at The West Arms pub in North East Wales this winter. Big Hand’s Super Tidy IPA is a permanent fixture at the West Arms.  This light citrussy beer pairs perfectly with fish dishes.

Dave believes in three things, Beer should be…

1) A pleasure to drink

2) Make you smile

3) And enjoyed in good company

We are with you on this Dave so cheers to that! 

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