Sunday 10th March 2013
The Little Chester Ale House opened its doors in November 2012 and has already made its presence felt in the Chester Green area of Derby. This is around about a three quarters of a mile (1 km) north of the city centre (Market Place). It was established by Walter who also runs the Wentwell micro-brewery in the city. A micro-brewery and a micropub under the same ownership! It seems to be a good fit.
It was a freezing cold evening when I went to the pub, about minus 2 but with a vicious north wind that cut you in half (minus 10 wind chill factor according the television weather forecast). So, you can imagine, the lights of the pub looked very welcoming as I approached. And so it proved to be once I was inside.
I took a seat in the small main room which has a small bar area and was able to order a beer without getting up as the place is so small. Walter was serving and immediately said "that's one of mine" as I had ordered a Wentwell beer. I was unaware of the connection at that time. And credit where credit is due, it was a very good beer indeed. I'd had Wentwell (Derby) Farm Hand's Bitter (4.1%). The remainder of the selection was Peakstones (Alton, Staffs) Nemesis (3.8%); Flipside (Colwich, Nottingham) Copper Penny (4.2%) and White Rose (Sheffield) Ziggy Gecko (4.3%).
There was also local cider in the form of Scropton Doris Stokes Medium (6.3%) and their Whetton Dry (5.8%). These come from their namesake village in Derbyshire. Food is offered in the form of three kinds of pie: Pork, Pork and Stilton cheese and Huntsman's. The usual pub snacks such as nuts, crisps and scratchings are also available.
As I enjoyed my pint I had a look around what was previously a dry cleaning shop and noticed that there was minimal decoration with a mirror and some old photographs on the walls, also some shelves with old bottles and beer mats but little else. Which is fine because micropubs don't need to create artificial atmosphere; it is made by their customers.
There is a larger bar area in the side corridor yet no seating, just standing room, and finally there is a small table at the end of the pub, just before the facilities.
So, even in a Beeropolis such as Derby, it is well worth taking the short journey out to this pub.
The Little Chester Ale House, 4A Chester Green Road, Derby DE1 3SF. Tel: 07584 244726
Open: Thursday to Sunday 15.00-22.00. Monday to Wednesday: Closed.
However these are core hours only as the pub has occasionally opened earlier and even on days when it might have been closed. It is worth checking by phone or looking at their Facebook page.
Any bus that leaves the city along Mansfield Road goes past the pub. Derby has the
most disconnected and random system of bus numbering I have every come across.
You need to catch any of the following routes: 7.1 9.1 9.2 9.3 59 AMB H1.