A cask ale hub
"Most people hate the taste of beer to begin with. It is, however, a prejudice that many people have been known to overcome."
Here at Carden Arms real ale is at the very heart of our offer as a proper village local, aiming to serve the community for a pint and chat with friends alongside our first-class pub dining experience.
We have five hand-pulled beers on the bar, carefully chosen from across the eclectic taste range of fine cask-conditioned ale: from the traditional Cheshire style best bitter Weetwood: Eastgate Ale to the light and zesty Salopian: Lemon Dream. The idea is that regular beers and guests suit both traditional ale lovers and 'cask rookies' alike. We encourage test tasting and, oh yes, we have a healthy discount on all beers between 5 - 7pm.
We seek to be real ale hub for the area, showcasing some of the best cask ales from the UK's mighty throng of independent brewers - especially those in Cheshire, North Wales and Shropshire with some treats from Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumbria.
Since 2016, when we re-opened this much-loved village hostelry, near some 200 beers have flowed through our hand-pulls. There's a lot more to come, with a plan to further expand our guest choice - follow our social media to keep up to date.
So, what do we have then?
Chester's Eastgate Clock is second only to Big Ben as the most photographed timepiece in the world. It was made by J B Joyce of Whitchurch in 1899 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee - which actually took place in 1897! We don't know what her Majesty made of that delay but we had to wait a whole 100 years before the clock inspired this popular best bitter from Weetwood Ales of Kelsall.
Brewed for the centenary of the famous clock which celebrated Queen Victoria it has become pretty well-known itself - quickly voted Champion Beer of Cheshire. A balanced amber ale, there's a malty, rich fruity experience both on the nose and palate. Dig deeper and there's a hint of citrus from the whole leaf cascade hops followed with a long bitter/sweet finish. Good with our hearty steak & ale pie and local cheeses. So, it's three cheers for Queen Vic then.
Champion Beer of Cheshire 2017
White Rat was originally brewed at the gloriously named Rat & Ratchet brewery of Huddersfield, a brewer of several 'rodent' ales. It transferred to a big sister Ossett a couple of years ago to meet the near rampant demand as it emerged from being a well-kept secret over t'Pennines.
Brewed with low colour malt and the zesty American Cascade, Columbus and Amarillo hops for a light golden 'hoppy pale ale', there's a rounded malty mouthfeel gently touched by citrussy lemon and grapefruit notes followed by a joyous underlying bitterness, delighting the tastebuds to demand more. It goes, well, just like the proverbial down the drain. A perfect match for our Cliffe Bank Steak Burger 'appen eh.
Many Beer of the Festival Awards
Landlord is an iconic traditional Yorkshire pale ale. Family-owned Timothy Taylor has brewed for more than 160 years and moved its present home at Knowle Spring Brewery, Keighley, in 1863. So, 'appen they know what they are doing.
The brewery is named for the soft Pennine spring water which flows below, filtered through limestone rock. It joins with Scottish Golden Promise barley - normally used for malt whiskies - and whole leaf traditional British Goldings and Fuggles hops with Slovenian Styrian Goldings for aroma. Then there's their own 'Taylor's Taste' yeast, with fermentation and conditioning for 10 days for a vigorous 'secondary fermentation'; web it lands in the cellar it's best not mess with it for at least two days.
There is a very consistent and balanced classic pale ale, with a clean, crisp character, citrus notes and a gentle sweetness set against a long, moreish bitter finish. As a dedicated regular tells it: 'blinking nectar' or some such anyway. Good with out locally sourced steaks and lamb or fish 'n' chips.
Great British Beer Festival Champion Beer of Britain and umpteen others.
Fuller's dates to 1845 at the historic Griffin Brewery in Chiswick. It was the last remaining London family brewer to sell out, in 2019 to Japanese brewing behemoth Asahi. It still supplies the 350 plus pub estate, which remained in the family hands. A lot of beer. Yet, they still have a drop to spare for their friends oop north. First brewed in 1958, this traditional, tawny, southern bitter is not about metropolitan hubris nor an annual parade; it pays tribute to the hardy little flower that thrived in the rubble strewn streets of the Blitz torn capital. It is now among the honourable ranks of our regular ales on the eight hand pull bar.
With all malt and hops, London Pride delivers a rounded mouthfeel with biscuity, light dried fruit and orange notes from Fuller's own distinctive yeast mixing with the pale and crystal malts. Discreet floral, piney, herby notes kick in from the native hops - Northdown, Challenger and Target - prior to a gentle bitter finish. Low carbonation leads to smooth, easy drinking, session ale. A bit of Cor Blimey in Cheshire then eh!
Fuller's flagship ale: A Campaign for Real Ale Great British Beer Festival
Supreme Champion Beer of British and winner of many international awards.
Salopian has been brewing in Shropshire since 1995 and was a pioneer of blonde style beers brewed with more citrussy and fruity 'New World' hops. They have been brewing Lemon Dream since 2001 and we think they have it spot on for the moniker.
It's brewed with, yes, Lemon Drop hops and organic lemons for some subtle zesty aroma and delicate lemony flavour on the tongue, but beautifully balanced out with light malt and Brewers Gold hops for a gentle, lingering bitterness. Quite a pokey brew and a good one to cut it with our classic fish pie, inspired veggie dishes or the splendid king prawn and monkfish curry.
SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) Supreme Champion Beer Bronze 2012
"A fine beer may be judged with only one sip, but it is better to be thoroughly sure..."