The Snowshill Arms, in the tidy village of Snowshill, Gloucestershire, built of the luscious golden Cotswold limestone sits near to an eclectic manor house held by the National Trust. By all means visit the manor if you are thus inclined but I usually come for the local brew at the Arms. Or, at least, I used to whenever I was staying in Broadway, just down the hill.
Donnington’s Best Bitter, or BB as it is known locally, is normally a superbly balanced bitter, after a spell of being too malty. You could get a pint of good real ale here, as well as food that was tasty too.
Sadly, on my last visit some years ago, the barmaid served SBA, which was plainly off, tasting sour and mean spirited. I returned the pint to the bar and was offered a pint of BB, which was only marginally better, lifeless, though not yet sour. When the publican returned, the barmaid related my concerns to him. He sampled a bit of the SBA and declared it fit for drinking. I then heard the barmaid telling another patron in a voice loud enough for me to overhear that: “Someone earlier said the SBA was off but Dave says it’s fine.”
Well, if Dave says it’s fine, it must be so, though I’ll be drinking elsewhere.
After an absence of some years, I took it upon myself to chance a return visit to the Snowshill Arms. And I’m very glad I did as I found a relatively new golden ale brewed by Donnington, simply called Donnington Gold. It was a superb jar of hop laced ale that went down a treat. I had another pint and rejoiced at the resurgence of a great village pub.
Even saw Dave behind the bar. He said hello and we exchanged pleasantries. He must have recognized me from the Crown and Trumpet down the steep hill in Broadway where he pops in for 11 am opening, has a jar of beer and a convivial conversation with like-minded early pub goers. Cheers, mate!