Little Big Brew’s plans anything but small beer

NEW locally brewed beverages will be available soon following the establishment of the Little Big Brew Co Ltd.

Little Big Brew Co Ltd has taken over the former White Rock Brewery in St George’s Esplanade. Left to right, Simon De La Rue, Charlotte Walker and Gareth Chandler. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 28766628)
Little Big Brew Co Ltd has taken over the former White Rock Brewery in St George’s Esplanade. Left to right, Simon De La Rue, Charlotte Walker and Gareth Chandler. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 28766628)

Based on St George’s Esplanade, the company took over the former White Rock Brewery site on 13 August after it went into liquidation that month.

Relevant licences have been obtained and the team’s first batches will be ready in six weeks.

‘We are fully committed for this to be a long-term project and we aren’t going anywhere,’ said Simon De La Rue, business development manager.

‘We’ve invested in the building to bring it up to a decent standard.’

Large groups should be catered for with educational tasting elements permitted in future, with the front planned to become a bar-like tap room.

‘Hopefully we’ll open for brewery tours this side of Christmas. This is a great way for people to understand how beer is made and see the only bottling machine on-island in action.’

Licences allow production and to sell as an off-licence in restaurants, bars and shops.

Initially launching in The Little Big Hotel Group’s sites – Les Douvres, The Peninsula Hotel and Fleur du Jardin – the brewers hope to expand into wider Bailiwick bars and supermarkets.

‘We want to put Guernsey on the map by later launching in the UK. We’re ambitious in what we want to do.’

Little Big Hotel Group director of operations and brewery director Charlotte Walker said: ‘From a hotel group perspective, we’re diversifying what we’re doing, reflecting on the impacts of Covid wiping out tourism for two years. The brewery opportunity seemed too good to be true.’

Beer shortages resulting from the pandemic were another reason to brew locally.

Head brewer and director Gareth Chandler founded Winslow Brewery in Martigny, Switzerland, where he was the chief taster for the past four to five years, making award-winning ales.

‘I moved back here a year ago before getting together with Charlie, Simon and Dan [O’Brien],’ Mr Chandler said.

‘So far we have 2,000 litres of lager brewing, which will be ready in six weeks, of a 10,000 litre capacity. We hope to make a variety starting with three core beverages of lager and ale, which are adaptations of my award-winning ales.

‘Then we’ll look at what the market wants. Luckily, as a small brewery, we can have a quick turnaround.’

Drink names will be revealed in due course.

‘It’s going to be a big surprise – watch this space.’

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