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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

The Garden Brewery Takeover

garden brewery logoSheffield Beer Week is great, right? We’re loving the enthusiasm and passion Sheffield has for beer. There’s been some great events held throughout the city and there’s plenty more to come but tonight it’s our turn as we get to showcase the brilliant beers by The Garden Brewery at the Ale Club.

Garden Brewery tapWe’ve been pouring The Garden Brewery’s finest beers since opening the tap room, the Samphire Sour and the Milkshake IPA have been going down a treat so, to coincide with Sheffield Beer Week we’ve let the Croatian brewery takeover the bar for the night.

So, who are The Garden Brewery?

The Garden Brewery story is a little different to most, it began with a music festival in Croatia by a promoter from Birmingham. The Garden has been one of Europes leading dancing music festivals since launching in 2006 but after 10 years they decided to focus on beer instead. The timing couldn’t have been better as Croatia was gaining a craft brewery scene whilst the connections from the festival circuit gave them an outlet early on and they’ve gone from strength-to-strength.

Garden Brewery beerTheir state of the art brewery allows them to brew different beers quickly, they have the ability to brew their core range on mass and test or create specials in smaller batches too, giving them the opportunity to grow fast without losing the excitement that comes with experimenting with different ingredients, flavours and tastes.

Unlike many breweries who specialise in one style The Garden Brewery’s core range is as eclectic as they come, stouts to sours whilst their pales IPA’s aren’t your typical style as they include citrus IPAs and honey double IPAs.

They pride themselves in the ingredients that they use to brew. These are natural and unfiltered, giving a more intense flavour, the hops come from around the world whilst the malts are imported from the UK which might give some familiarity to the taste produced.

Based in Zagreb, The Garden Brewery tap room is open 7 days a week, serving their core range and specialise on cask, keg, bottle and can which will taste much fresher than you’d experience after being imported over land and sea. They offer guided tours and tasting sessions too! And, obviously, should you get peckish, there’s food available too from Submarine a shipping container in the brewery, serving burgers and ice cream, made with locally sourced ingredients.

More info The Garden Brewery, their beers and their tap room (well worth a visit if you’re in Croatia) is available here.

Don’t forget to check out our Sheffield Beer Week offers, available until Sunday.

By in Uncategorised 0

Guest Brewery #3 Vocation Brewery

Vocation Brewery LogoJeez, January was tough, right? Well, we’re in mid-Feb now, we’ve finished gifting for Christmas and Valentines and we are seeing the first signs of spring, exciting! We spent last month embracing Tryanuary, we tasted some lovely beers and Vocation Brewery were one of our favourites. We aren’t even going to be subtle about it, head to the Ecclesall Ale Club and we’ve got their finest  pales on the bar.

If you buy your craft beers from the supermarket then you’re probably aware of Vocation Brewery. The Hebden Bridge brewers have their cans in major supermarkets across the UK and their bold branding stands out. It’s simple but affective. It might be just a black can with a brightly coloured slogan such as ‘Pride & Joy’ or ‘Life & Death’ but it screams “drink me now”.Vocation cans

Not only is it visually appealing but the contents of the can are equally impressive. Like all good brewers, Vocation have found a formula and mastered it, the pales came first (sessions, IPAs, APAs) then they branched out to the Pilsner because there’s always somebody wanting a lager… They brew over 17,000 pints worth of beer a week! Vocation Brewery is relatively young but built with experience as it was founded by John Hickling who previously owned Blue Monkey Brewery in Nottingham.

The IPA is always a great introduction when converting a lager fan to an ale, Brewdog’s Punk, the Jaipur by Thornbridge or the Goose Island IPA tend to be the go to but Vocation’s pales are full of fruity flavours with a hoppy kick that entice the tastebuds without being over-powering and intense.

Vocation at Ale ClubCans from your local supermarket are fine but a freshly pulled pint is far more superior and we currently have Pride & Joy and Bread & Butter on the bar. You really don’t want to miss out.

Who doesn’t love a tab room? Drinking from it’s source is always a winner and Vocation & Co. is a collaboration with locals. They are open 7 days a week in West Yorkshire and if you get hungry, fear not, they have tacos! It’s well worth a day trip, more details on Vocation & Co and Vocation Brewery can be found on their website.

By in Uncategorised 1

Guest Brewery #1 Brew York

Brew York Craft BeerGuest Brewery #1 Brew York

As the men behind brewing there’s nothing we love more than being inspired by fellow brewers. As the men behind the bar we love nothing more than knowing that every pint we pull is going to be a hit. The Ecclesall Ale Club is where we share this love and you’ll notice the bar is heavily featuring Brew York at the minute.

Like most breweries, Brew York was created by friends who are passionate about beer. What makes them different to others is how fast they have grown. In just a couple of years Brew York went from an idea created in a pub to a fully functioning brewery with award winning beers available in cask, keg, bottle and can. They also opened a tap room on-site and pulled-off a distribution deal that saw their cans available in supermarkets nationwide. It couldn’t have been a better start for the York brewers but non of this would have happened if they hadn’t created great tasting beers.

Craft Beer Brew York cansThey have built a core-range of favourites that are influenced by American flavours, brewed with traditional British techniques. These Pale Ales have a taste of familiarity but it is the depth of flavours that makes them stand out in what is becoming a competitive area in craft beer. The Americanisms are largely visible in the percentage which tend to be over 5% without overshadowing the ingredients.

Brew York also offer a bitter and porter in the core range but they allow their creativity to flow with small batches of experimental beers and seasonal collections. The Tonkoko milk stout has beeFairytale of Brew Yorkn a particular favourite on our bar recently.

The branding has helped Brew York beers stand out from taps, fridges and shelves. Their Fairytale of Brew York collection will be a sure-fire winner this Christmas, c’mon, who doesn’t love a good pun!

Their tap room, in York, based on-site gives visitors the opportunity to taste beers at their freshest and their is a constant rotation on cask and keg.

For more details on Brew York beers and tap room, visit their website.

Want to taste? You’ll find them on our bar throughout the festive period and beyond. The Ecclesall Ale Club is open 11:30am – 11pm 7 days a week