Having formed a limited company, Mark put together a three barrel plant and began developing recipes for a cohort of four ales. Much testing and tasting later, the foursome have been revealed; they are:
- Cambridge Fellow (3.8%), a session ale which uses just Challenger hops and is light and clean tasting;
- Gulping Fellow (4.2%), a well-balanced best bitter whose name commemorates the Cottenham Gulpers – in times gone by the villagers had a fearsome reputation for their drinking abilities, earning them this sobriquet (and at one time the village had eight breweries and 50 pubs!)
- Jolly Fellows (5.0%), a full-bodied premium bitter which goes especially well with gamey grub;
- Clever Fellow (5.2%), smooth strong ale which aims to achieve a balanced sweetness
Jolly uses Target hops for bitterness and three others for aroma and flavour. I thought this a truly fabulous beer. I've lamented in these pages before the rarity of properly bitter, as against hoppy, ales but Jolly delivers a pronounced and glorious bitterness on the aftertaste; the mouth-feel itself is much more balanced with malt and fruit notes lending a residual sweetness.
These are both seriously good beers but also offer something different for local drinkers. Regular current outlets include the Chequers Cottenham (see elsewhere), the Cottenham Club and Landbeach Social Club whilst they've also appeared at the Black Horse Rampton and St Johns Chop House Cambridge. Having got the recipes to his satisfaction, Mark is now embarking on full scale marketing and we wish him well. For more information see www.fellowsbrewery.co.uk