Cloudwater are back at IMBC for their fourth appearance since first exploding onto the scene in 2015. This year Cloudwater are the room sponsors of Room 1 at Victoria Baths and you will find them pouring them freshies at every session of IMBC 18. We spoke to Cloudwater about upcoming plans for IMBC 18 and more besides…
Your new brewery tap is now open at Unit 9, huzzah! What can visitors to the tap expect now and over IMBC weekend? How does the new tap differ to the barrel store experience?
In Unit 9 we wanted to create a more comfortable space for our customers as well as a more permanent space that we as a brewery can take pride in. The Barrel Store was a great stop gap, but with Unit 9, we have a better environment for people coming in to see what we are all about, as well as to showcase great beer we are inspired by. We had our first tap takeover from Bagby Beer, coming all the way from Oceanside, California, which included freshly air-freighted beers and an evening in conversation with Jeff Bagby, who is a phenomenal figure in the Southern California beer industry and an absolute don of the West Coast IPA.
Plus, Unit 9 has a fantastic dispense system installed by Yvan of Jolly Good Beer, with beer direct from our 3ºC cold store, maintaining temperature until it leaves the tap.
We’ve been in discussion with Linzi, our awesome Unit 9 tap room manager, as well as our new events crew in creating some IndyMan fun in the lead-up to and alongside the festival. We are still finalising these details, but expect some guest beers from friends of ours on the taps, collab brew launches, and some one-off brews alongside some single barrel releases from our Barrel Store and the launch of our new Autumn/Winter range of beers, which will also be integral in our IndyMan offering.
Cloudwater have been holding down Room 2 at Victoria Baths the past two years at IMBC. This year Cloudwater are the sponsor of Room 1 INSIDE a pool. What are you hoping to bring to the space?
We are excited to be dispensing our beers through a direct-draw cold store, which will be a first at the festival. It might be a bit geeky but dispense is so important for presenting your beer in the best possible way, and we are really hoping to take it to another level.
Also, two words: Crispy Corner. (Ed: Lager heads, take heed)
What are the latest developments at Cloudwater HQ?
Aside from the recent opening of Unit 9, we are currently getting the staff and opening sorted for our London tap room at 73 Enid Street in Bermondsey. We are looking forward to joining the wonderful community in beer there, as well as other things food and drink related. We are looking to open not long after IndyMan. Hope you all like pink!
Additionally, we’ve just recently brewed our 500th beer, which will be a hefty little number inspired by parkin. For those of you who aren’t aware of the glory that is parkin, think ginger, treacle and sticky tasty cake vibes.
How was it sitting in on this year’s Thirsty Games qualifying tasting? The 2018 Thirsty Games brewery line-up is one of the best yet but there was stiff competition!
There were quite a lot of interesting entries for the Thirsty Games this year. We hosted this in our Barrel Store, and the competition was pretty close, particularly with how many breweries there were. Claudia and Connor both sat on the panel and tried a lot of beer. It’s hard work for some.
Cloudwater are no strangers to beer festivals. What for you makes a good beer festival experience?
The best beer festivals we’ve been a part of have been those that have a welcoming atmosphere. As breweries going to places near and far, it’s great to feel welcomed by the festival hosts as well as the attendees. We recently had a wonderful experience in the town of Hammerfest in the very north of Norway–within the Arctic Circle! The bar, Jernteppet, and its owners and staff really looked after all the breweries attending and were exceptionally kind, and that put us all in a great mood that was passed onto the attendees, which sort of fed back to us. It was a welcoming festival in a welcoming town, and we couldn’t have asked for much more! IndyMan has been amazing in that respect in showing Northern hospitality to attendees coming from all over.
We are really privileged to be involved in so many events with such positivity. Events surrounding beer should be positive, and ones that everyone should be able to enjoy! We shouldn’t miss out on the experience of meeting and connecting with people at festivals just to tick a few beers off a list. Beer festivals such as IndyMan don’t just bring great beer all in one place, but they also bring in a fabulous community of brewers, enthusiasts, industry folks and people just curious about what this whole beer thing is about and what DIPA stands for.
Also, if you don’t know what DIPA stands for, please come to the Cloudwater room, where we will likely have one on draft!
Any favourite memories from IMBC 17?
Big fans of the Blawd Doughnuts, particularly paired with impy stouts. Recommended food and beer pairing action right there. We also can’t forget the masses gathering around the huge wheel of cheese in the Wild Beer Co. tent, chanting “CHEESE CHEESE CHEESE CHEESE” then animalistacally grabbing fist-fulls, bare handed, eating it plain. Plus, the beer from our friends Forest & Main were sublime. It was great having them pour with us!
Tickets for IMBC 18 are available for Thursday 4th October and Sunday 7th October sessions HERE.