Not only is the new guy younger than most of the pub trades die hard tenants but he's a local lad and a brewer to boot. While most real ale brewers do just that Ade Cole chose to take on a pub that was falling into decline and bring it back to it's former glory. The Derby Tup now has a new future as a brewery tap and after some frustrating delays Thursday 6th August 2015 saw the launch of Ade's first brew since his move in to the Tup.
Test Brew A was greeted by a small buzz of excited banter from the regulars who immediately appointed themselves chief tasters and chief critics, however any preconceptions were quickly shot down in one mouthful of this mid-strength hoppy pale from Pigeon Fishers and they soon began debating the nuances and suggesting tweaks to the brewer. Not only was Test Brew A voraciously imbibed by its home audience but it brought real ale explorers in from far and wide to be a part of this great new adventure in ale.
Brewed with Amarillo, Columbus and Williamette hops this is a beautifully complex, bitter and dry pale ale. On first tasting from the top of the cask there was an extremely strong hit of pink grapefruit and the dryness stripped the palette to the point where the only drink I wanted to follow this with was a glass of water but that was a pre-tasting on the Wednesday, The following day I plunged into a full pint and found the citrus had mellowed and the dryness abated enough to let the true flavour of the hops shine through.
This time I'm drinking an ale to be reckoned with. Hibiscus flower met tangerine and red apple mingling with light grassy notes supported by creamy butterscotch and soft oats on the back flavour. The dryness more mellow, replaced with a balance of sherbet and liquorice.
On the nose scents of cola, raspberry tea, violets, rose petals and grass newly sprinkled with morning dew pleased my olfactory senses.
The head offered a nice light openly aerated foam which clung to the glass forming a meniscus, white in appearance perfectly offsetting the pale golden hue of the ale.
With an ABV of 4.2% a decent mid strength ale to ensure more than one pint is quaffed and still leave room to try other ales on the bar.
Overall Pigeon Fisher's Test Brew A is an assertive pale ale, pungent, aromatic with an aggressive bitter bite.