As I write this in early 2018, Manchester’s Cloudwater is the most exciting brewery in Britain. They’ve turned the brewery into a fun taproom where they can showcase their beers when they’re at their freshest, while you’re surrounded by the tanks in which those beers are made.
Cloudwater started up in February 2015 with an Avengers-style brewing super-team and they’ve gotten stronger and better ever since. This is certainly a determined brewery, but what fascinates me most is their willingness to learn, improve, and share their developments and processes with drinkers—all in their drive toward achieving maximum deliciousness.
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Their DIPA was the likely tipping point in this success. A powerful, juicy Double IPA, it was unlike any other beers brewed in Britain at that point. To go with its release, they published indepth details of the brew and followed it up with more evolutions, getting more scientific, ripping the style apart and putting it back together, and always trying to improve on the processes and resulting flavors—the target for greatness is always moving and they are always hitting the bull’s eye, often before anyone else realizes that the target has even shifted.
It’s not just their hoppy beers—Session IPA, IPA, and DIPA—as they have an extensive barrel-aging program and some enormous foudres, plus a general approach that looks at modern seasonal beers and involves brewing to suit the seasons and their changing inspirations.
Cloudwater is a brewery deserving of the world’s attention.
A glimpse inside what is Britain’s most lauded craft brewery.
WHAT: Cloudwater Brew Co.
HOW: The brewery is less than 10 minutes’ walk from Manchester Piccadilly station. The Brewery Tap opening hours may extend or change, so check the website in advance (www.cloudwaterbrew.co).
WHERE: Units 7-8, Piccadilly Trading Estate, Manchester Ml 2NP