How 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.