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Previous Pint Pleasures - April 10, 2010

guinness eileen

The Chesterfield Arms, 40 Newbold Road, Chesterfield, Derbyshire

guinness eileen

The Rose & Crown, 104 Old Road, Brampton, Chesterfield, Derbyshire

Earlier this year just after New Year's I met some friends for a few pints in the market town of Chesterfield. The usual meeting point would have been the Rutland Arms, located next to Chesterfield's famous crooked spire. But as the pub had sadly changed hands, we decided to travel a bit further afield.

Our first stop was the Chesterfield Arms, an Everard's Brewery pub and a recent winner of the local CAMRA's Pub of the Season award. This pub has a very pleasant atmosphere with wood floors and nooks and crannies everywhere.

To begin our cask ale worship session we sat at a table by the roaring fire near a church pew. Marion had a pint of the Hearty Ale (5.0% ABV, Burton Bridge Brewery, Burton Upon Trent), a full-bodied brew of the sort Marion prefers. Ali had a pint of Sunchaser (4.0% ABV, Everards Brewery, Narborough, Leicestershire) which was subtle but with a nice barley flavour. And I had a pint of Bounder (3.8%, Leatherbritches Brewery, Ashbourne, Derbyshire). Yum! My holiday hangover was instantly vanquished by a big dog's tongue lapping over my senses. This brew has a lovely bitter with a whopping wooden-leg bomp on the tongue.

After a quick snack of pickled eggs we moved on to a selection of half-pint tasters. My half of Evolution (4.3% ABV, Blue Monkey Brewing, Ilkeston, Derbyshire) was flowery and very nice, like a fragrant bouquet of peach blossoms. As I was drinking half an evolution I wondered if I would half-evolve, waking up in the morning with no hair and a substantially larger forehead. The Hartington IPA (4.5% ABV, Whim Ales, Hartington, Derbyshire) was a bit disappointing, quite ordinary compared to the other wonders we had in front of us. Ali's half of Rainbow's End (4.5% ABV, Ashover, Derbyshire) was yummy with a nice velvety bitter and a lovely balance. The Broadoak Perry (7.5% ABV, Clutton, Somerset) tasted dangerously like a nice classy pear juice. I say "dangerously" because one could easily forget how alcoholic it is.

The most impressive taste of the day, however, was the Russian Imperial Stout (7.7% ABV, Thornbridge Brewery, Bakewell, Derbyshire), which tasted like a very classy bitter-dark chocolate. Oh my god -- this is great stuff! Absolutely Brilliant! I'm in love with it, but this love is dangerous because of the strength. "Step away from the stout, step away..."

Before heading off down the road we checked out the covered beer garden, surrounded by the pub's various rooms and furnished with heaters, lights, and plenty of Memory-Lane-type reading material in the form of dozens of beer mats mounted on the cover frame. On the other side of the garden is "The Barn", an exterior building used for beer and music festivals.

For our next pint we headed over to Brampton to the Rose & Crown, another Everard's pub. Reportedly a former lager house, this pub has been recently taken over by Ken and Jane Randall who used to run the Rutland with its excellently kept cask ales. They've been turning the Rose & Crown into an excellent cask ale pub as well. My pint was Golden Bud (3.8% ABV, Brampton Brewery, Chesterfield, Derbyshire), a nice well-rounded bitter with that nice fuzzy-tongue feel. At this point I was really needing something more in my stomach than the pickled egg of several hours earlier, so I ordered a mozzarella and tomato panini which did the job. Then I had a taste of Wasp Nest (5.0%, Brampton Brewery), a honey beer with a buzz on the tongue -- buzz-zzzz-zzzt! I also had a taste of Rosey Nosey (4.5% ABV, Batemans Brewery, Wainfleet, Lincolnshire) whose chewy fruit flowery malt was not quite to my taste.

After a lovely day of tasting I headed back to the train station, hoping my slightly wobbling legs would support me until I got back to Sheffield. Fortunately they rallied to the cause.

Chesterfield Arms Updates
(Last updated 10 June 2015)