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By in Brewing 0

Guest Brewery #5 Cloudwater

CloudwaterHow much is too much for a pint? It wasn’t that long ago when us northerners would avoid London beer prices. £3? Na, I’m happy up hear, thanks. What about £13? Last year Cloudwater, possibly the most hyped craft beer brewery around hit the headlines with their £13 pint in London. Sadly it’s not only London where you’re paying more than a tenner. Is this Cloudwater’s fault? Is there more to the story than the headline and, most importantly, would you pay it?

No. Yes. The third question needs to be rephrased. Are the short answers. Let’s dig a little deeper…

You are reading this because you have an interest in good beer. You don’t need to be sold to but there’s more reasons behind the price than just hype or a label but the hype doesn’t help, especially for the likes of Cloudwater. The Manchester brewery have only been going for a few years, they are relatively small but they’ve had to grow up fast and that, in itself doesn’t come cheap. They are also small in terms of the amount of beer they can brew and when you’re making headlines, whether for good or bad, you are going to be in demand. They have had to hike prices up to keep to high standards and to slow down the demand.

Breweries don’t get into it to make lots of money, they want to make beer they love and that’s why people like what we do, we want to be proud about the product. A hand brewed beer, made with love, care and the best ingredients is incomparable to a pint of lager made on mass, by machines with low quality ingredients. You can find yourself paying a fiver for that anyway. With some craft beers, like the famed 9% double IPA we’ve got to change our mindset and think of it like you would a good bottle of decent wine, then the price doesn’t seem that bad. You wouldn’t buy a pint of wine and you probably shouldn’t buy a pint of this either, you’d be steaming. You get what you pay for.

Who are Cloudwater and why should you give a shit? The name might be kind of new (established 2015) but the brewers certainly aren’t. They’ve been making (and drinking) beers for years now so it’s not just some amateurs, jumping in on the bandwagon Nathan Barely style. They pride themselves on using seasonal ingredients which not only ensures that they have the ability to make beers in their prime but they can continually change their range. They are always tweaking their recipes as they look for improvements. Cloudwater’s signature Double IPA has evolved over the last two years as the brewers have gained new inspirations, it’s currently at v3.1. They are the Heston Blumenthal of beer; adventurous, innovative, sometimes daring but it’s the end result that really matters.

Based in the centre of Manchester, underneath Piccadilly train station arches (their tap room is worth a visit), Alphabet Brewery and Chorlton Brewery are their neighbours. Sheffield might be the beer capital but Manchester is becoming a strong competitor!

What’s your budget for a good pint? Or half? Or a third? What about a glass of wine with your meal? Probably about the same. And, five quid for a pint of shitty lager or a third of something decent? Think of it like a treat, rather than a session drink, there’s plenty of other great beers to choose from after your tastebuds have been tantalised by Cloudwater anyway.

They aren’t in the worlds top 15 breweries in the world for the sake of it.

For more information on Cloudwater, visit their website. Want to taste what all the fuss is about? Pop into the Ale Club, if it’s not on tap, you’ll find some cans in the fridge to drink in or take home.

By in Events 0

Guide to Sheffield Beer Week 2018

Sheffield Beer WeekIt’s almost our favourite week of the year, we’ve been putting our plans together to make sure there’s no logistical mishaps. Not gonna lie, we’ve had to flip coins to decide what to do because there’s so much good stuff going on. Yep, Sheffield Beer Week, we are ready for you.

Sheffield Beer Week launchIt all kicks off on Saturday at the Abbeydalee Picture House on Abbeydale Road with the Indie Beer Feast, celebrating the cities greatest things, independent businesses, food and beer.

They’ll be drinking from then on, through to the next weekend. It might sound like one big piss up and to a degree it is but it’s also about sampling the best of beer in 2018. Whether you want to call it craft beer or real ale, just grab a glass and enjoy the breweries showcasing their work in pubs throughout the city.

Hardywood CraftThe beer resurgence here in the UK owes a lot to the States and the Hop Hideout on Abbeydale Road is showcasing beers from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery from midday. If you are heading to the Indie Beer Feast get down early and nip across the road for a taster, or just go down anyway, The Broadfield is next door! The Indie Beer Feast is a ticketed event and they’ve got some of the best local and UK breweries and street food chefs to kick your tastebuds into gear for the rest of Sheffield Beer Week.

Wellington Sheffield Beer WeekWe don’t have time for hangovers especially on day two when award winner beer writer Adrian Tierney-Jones is hosting a tasting evening for the best of Norwich beers at The Wellington in Shalesmoor. Prepare to be schooled.

Monday’s are the worst, not in Beer Week they aren’t. It’s meet the brewer time at Brewdog with Steel City Brewing’s Dave who will be talking about his craft and a taste of their Sheffield Brewery Week special, Rogue One, a 10% imperial stout with a hint of chocolate, vanilla and citrus.

If the 10% stout hasn’t written us off we’ll be heading to the train station, not to escape but for the Sheffield Tap to see how The Tapped Brew Co make their beers before joining the Sheffield Pub Heritage Walk which starts at Fagans at 5:30.

Sheffield Beer Week Beavertown TakeoverThere’s no hump day during Sheffield Beer Week as Wednesday sets us up for another busy one, starting off with another meet the brewer event at Brewdog at 6pm, this time its Lost Industry who will be bringing their exclusive imperial white stout, Off Me Coconut along then at 7:30pm it’s time to head to Hallamshire House for meet the brewer with London’s finest, Beavertown!

Thursday we’ll be starting off with a battle of the sours with locals Abbeydale Brewery against Manchester faves Charlton Brewery at The Devonshire Cat before heading to The Bath Hotel for another brewery from the other side of the Pennines, Marble Brewery who’ll be taking part in a meet the brewer.

Brew York Sheffield Beer WeekBrew York are frequent on the Ale Club bar and we’re looking forward to their meet the brewer event at Riverside on Friday before heading to The Bar Stewards for a Northern Monk takeover.

Saturday will be another Kelham orientated day with the Cloudwater and Howling Hops takeover at Shakespeares, Unfortunately all good things have to come to an end but theres a silver lining at the Sheffield Beer Week closing party which coincides with launch of the Neepsend Brewery tap room opening!

Gladiators, ready?