Since its reopening in March 2009, the Chesterfield Arms has rapidly gained a reputation in the area for serving real ale and ciders. The interior of the pub is kitted out in a modern traditional manner. By this I mean that many of the ‘nick-nacs’ and furniture are modern, probably made in China, but trying to appear like they are over 100 years old. When I was there it was nice to have a proper wood fire roaring away, which gave off a wonderful aroma. The interior of the pub could be described as clean, cosy and comfortable.
There is a very good selection of beers available, about 8 with a guide to show if they are pale, brown or dark. Two halves are ordered, Thornbridge Kipling and Butcombe Gold.
Thornbridge Kipling South Pacific Ale (5.2%). Kipling is a golden blonde beer with a thick creamy head. The Nelson Sauvin hops used in the ale are apparent immediately with a strong grapefruit and passion fruit nose. When tasted apricot and peach come to the fore in the extremely fruity beer. I find it a little over the top in terms of fruit and it has an almost artificial flavour to it. I also think it has a bit of a bitter finish. I think this is a hard beer to drink much of. An interesting nose, but fruit dominates the beer too much – 6/10.
Butcombe Gold Bitter (4.4%). Butcombe brewery was set up in 1978 in the village of Butcombe, which is 10 miles south of Bristol. It took until 1998 for Butcombe to brew its second beer, Gold. Butcombe Gold has a dark golden colour to it and a thick head. The nose is quite weak, but lemon can be detected. Upon drinking the smooth texture becomes apparent along with a complex flavour containing shortbread, butterscotch and nice malt. Butcombe Gold is a very nice English beer with only British Malt and Fuggles hops used to make it. A flavoursome, easy drinking beer - 7/10.