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BIG DIG BREWHOUSE

Beers you will love.

The Big Dig Brewhouse is a small-batch artisan brewery making craft beer for discerning drinkers.

And non-discerning drinkers. We aren't fussy.

 

There has been brewing, and drinking, on this site for around two thousand years. True. So, keep the tradition alive and visit our infrequent and irregular taprooms for history-making beers and (when available) decent grub.

Upcoming Taprooms

  • Summer Tap
    Summer Tap
    Summer Tap
    Fri, 26 Jul
    North West Farm
    26 Jul 2024, 17:00 – 20:00
    North West Farm, Winterborne Kingston, Blandford Forum DT11 9AT, UK
    26 Jul 2024, 17:00 – 20:00
    North West Farm, Winterborne Kingston, Blandford Forum DT11 9AT, UK
    Beers on a farm - nuff said
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It's all about the BEER

We make beers that we like to drink. That's about all there is to say.

If you like unconventional beers with big flavours,

if you love cask ale, but also the keg,

if you enjoy good company (in a farmyard),

if you don't care if your beer is hazy or clear,

if it has a head or not,

if it is warm or chilled, and,

if you love the idea of a few friends making beers for everyone to enjoy,

then,

you are Big Dig.

Meet your beers

Life is like a box of chocolates.

It's the same at the brewhouse.

We brew whatever takes our fancy and you drink it.

Here is your beer lottery....

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Duropolis Rising

Our signature brew.

The name comes from the Bournemouth University Big Dig Team as they started to expose an Iron Age settlement. Duropolis rose up from the ground, just as brewing has been reincarnated in the Winterborne Valley.

A bold New England IPA style hazy pale ale. The haziness comes from wheat and oat flakes added during the mash. The beer is super fruity and juicy from four different varieties of hop (Amarillo, Citra, Mosaic and Nectaron).

It’s a bold beer – which is how we like it.

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Hop Dig

Sunny Republic brewery, brewed Hop Dog on this site sometime after the Romans had packed up and left. Thanks to Brent and Rosie for the original concept.

Hop Dig uses a combination of three types of grain, three types of hops (Chinook, Centennial and Columbus) and a ferocious American yeast to make this IPA a real diggers delight.

It's our strongest brew, it will make you think you can dance well.

Please gyrate responsibly!

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Amulet

A delightful jewel of a beer. Amulet is an amber ale. Very English, very Big Dig and, very, er, ambery. The word "amulet" comes from the Latin word amuletum, meaning "an object that protects a person from trouble". Well, that ain’t happenin’. It’s a fairly strong contender, so don’t be going crazy now, or you will be in trouble.

 

Here we have classic English malts from the downs, southern British hops from the home counties, and Nottingham yeast from, well, we aren’t sure. All brewed up into a crystal-clear, rich malty ale which is easy on the bitterness and easy on the eye.

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Durnovaria

What Have the Europeans Ever Done for Us? Well, apart from the aqueducts, sanitation, roads, and public order… they founded Durnovaria (modern-day Dorchester). They adorned it with fancy mosaics of gods and sea monsters – because nothing says “civilization” like a pixellated monster cartoon.

They probably also invented the all-nighter. Julius Caesar pulling one to finish his speech: “Friends, Romans, Beer drinkers…”

Fast-forward a couple of millennia, another invasion… Eurofizz lager. Oh, how we all hated it. At Big Dig Brewhouse, we’re beer enthusiasts. We say, “Don’t knock it ‘till you’ve brewed it.” So, we mashed up a cold one: Durnovaria Dortmunder Lager. Fermented cold with classic ingredients (Pilsner and Munich malts, Saaz and Tettnang hops, and Bohemian yeast). Full-flavoured, easy-drinking – pretty darned good, even for ale geeks like us.

So, grab a pint of this Euro-charmer, raise your tankard, salute the Romans, and bibe bene!

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Whalebone

Whalebone was a name looking for a beer. Coffee Stout was a beer looking for a name. Snap!

A whale's bone, a vertebra to be exact, was found in a pit at the Big Dig. It is thought to have been treasured by the Iron Age Durotriges tribe who lived here over two thousand years ago. How a whale bone came to be in Dorset a couple of millennia ago is baffling. Slightly less bewildering is the obvious fusion of Stout, the darkest of beers, and coffee, the quickest of beverages.

Whalebone is brewed with chocolate malt and roasted barley, which classically give stouts their distinctive colour, texture and taste. This brew is further enhanced by infusing with coarse-ground coffee, roasted right here by Beanpress.

The result is a smooth, luscious brew with a hint of coffee. Wake up, and smell the Whale!

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Spindlewhorl

A real crowd pleaser. In the Iron Age a weight, known as a whorl, would be attached to the end of a spindle and used to spin threads out during textile manufacture. Many Spindlewhorls have been found by the Big Dig Team and we thought it was a cracking name for a beer.

It is a Red Ale – made with red rye crystal malt to give the beer its colour and caramel sweetness.  Classic English East Kent Goldings provide some bitterness with Amarillo (from USA) bringing a real citrusy edge.

It’s is a medium strength beer so won't make your spindle whorl too much!

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Banjo

Big Dig archaeologists discovered an early Iron Age enclosure on the Winterborne Kingston site, comprising an oval-ish area surrounded by a ditch with an elongated entrance passage – thus Banjo Enclosure. They are often identified from above by crop marks.

The Durotriges tribe lived here, in Dorset-ish, the neighbouring tribe to the East, in Hampshire-ish, was the Belgae. They gave their name to the Roman province of Gallia Belgica and, later, to the modern country of Belgium. And so we have Banjo: a Belgian Pale Ale. Banjo is brewed with Belgian Pale and caramunich malts, saaz hops and, most importantly, saison yeast. The result is a strong, dry, spicy but smooth, copper-coloured brew. Take care, it's strong stuff. There is a new catchphrase in the Brewhouse - to Get Banjoed!

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Golden Stater

The Golden Stater is the blingier version of the standard Stater, the coin which inspired our great logo. The apparently random pattern is an abstract image of a disjointed horse. Of course it is.


Big Dig Golden Stater is also random and disjointed and we love it. It's an unconventional cross between German Kölsch and Belgian Witbier. It is brewed using a combination of Pilsner, Pale and Wheat malts with a lagery buzz from Saaz hops. Then we add disjointed flavours from orange peel and coriander seeds. Quite mad. Unusually, the beer is fermented cool and then cold conditioned. The result is a flavoursome, smooth and golden hybrid of lager, ale and witbier. Let your taste buds savour this wonderful concoction.

Welcome to the Iron Age.

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CowHorse

Animal bones, combined into a hybrid creature with the body of a cow and the head of a horse, were found beneath Iron Age human burials in Duropolis. The fabled CowHorse was possibly an offering to pagan gods. We now offer this hybrid brew to the Gods of Beer.

 

CowHorse is a session Dark Lager (yes, that’s a thing) – brewed with 5 types of grain, including Pilsner Malt, Caramunich and Special B, and 3 types of hops (Amarillo, Citra and Tettnang). It's fermented with US West Coast yeast. If that sounds like random ingredients thrown together, it is. It’s a recipe created using surplus ingredients from other brews, but the combination was carefully formulated, and turned out to be lush. A creamy, caramelly and malty beer, with a hint of bitterness, and, remarkably, the crispness you get from a lager.

Neigh? Moo!

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Winterborne Warmer

There were more than 150 roundhouses in Duropolis, the Iron Age ‘city’ discovered on North West Farm in Winterborne Kingston.  The roundhouse was central to the life in the Iron Age, they provided shelter, storage and each house had a fire for warmth and cooking. 

Winterborne Warmer is a spiced ale that provides your personal roundhouse with a fiery glow. It’s a dark, rich beer with a hints of bitter chocolate, star anise and cinnamon (if you concentrate hard enough). Traditionally, spiced beers are for the sunless solstace, but if you want to have a touch of winter on a sweltering July evening in the farmyard, crack on!

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BORN IN THE BOIL

We make beer.

Water, grains, hops, yeast. That's it. No funny stuff, no chemicals, no fishy bits. All Vegan. Natural beer made from things that grow.

In 2015 an Iron Age brewery was discovered at the Big Dig archaeological excavations. Now, two thousand years after the Durotrigians were partying, it’s our turn. Seven people who love beer and good times formed a partnership and bought some fancy kit and a few buckets. The partners come from various walks of life, and all contribute on a part-time basis.  Two of the team have loads of experience of brewing a variety of lovely beers from fine ingredients, and the other partners are quickly learning that brewing is 90% cleaning and 10% paperwork!

We received our licence to brew in June 2023 (more paperwork) and were very pleased to serve our first beer at the Durotriges Project Big Dig 2023 Open Day. Please ask to look around our nano-brewery, and see our extensive paperwork collection.

Contact Us

Come on down

NorthWest Farm,

WestStreet

Winterborne Kingston

Dorset

DT11 9AT

Contact

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Opening Hours

Occasional taprooms on Fridays only. Check out our events.

5pm - 8pm

AWRS: XFAW00000120855

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