At IMBC 16 we debuted a new bar called The Thirsty Games. The bar showcased three small breweries: Maregade, Wilde Child, and Fiveclouds. The three were chosen by an IMBC panel following an open call seeking out the best UK small breweries. Beers from the three were poured throughout the festival and you, the public, voted on your favourite Thirsty Games brewery via ballot. Fiveclouds came out on top after four days of intensive tasting and took home the very first Thirsty Games trophy.
Fiveclouds Shibui and Al-Ki pouring at Fiveclouds Tap
Team IMBC took a trip to Fiveclouds Tap in Macclesfield to catch up with our Thirsty Games 2016 winners, Fiveclouds. We spoke to Tom and Josh in the excellent surrounds of Fiveclouds Tap’s cellar…
Who is Fiveclouds? Tell us a little about your brewing setup
Fiveclouds is a small gypsy brewery based in Macclesfield, Cheshire. We focus on brewing seasonal, progressive and modern beer. We started as a small 1BBL brewery brewing out of Torrside. We used their pilot kit for 10 months before moving up to their full size kit as demand increased. We’re massively grateful to those guys for helping us get our beer out! We started brewing at Wincle to allow us to brew 2 10BBL batches a month – the slight difference in kits suits us as we can experiment more with process and most of all learn from both of them!
The Thirsty Games trophy, created by current Cloudwater artist Mariel Osborn, taking pride above the Thirsty Games Tap bar
The Thirsty Games bar at IMBC 16
How was your experience of being at IMBC 16?
Absolutely awesome yet pretty overwhelming! We had such an amazing time pouring next to some of our favourite breweries and friends alike. To be pouring at IMBC in our first year of trading was a massive deal to us, slightly surreal after going for the past few years as drinkers and we were totally surprised at the amount of interest and feedback from other brewers and the public alike. It opened a huge amount of doors for us as a brewery and gave us some much needed confidence.
When we tweeted the results of the competition our tweet had got over 6000 interactions that night. We had about 30 bars from around the country asking for beer over twitter, etc. It was pretty crazy!
Down in the Fiveclouds Tap cellar
How has your life changed since winning the inaugural Thirsty Games?
Since IMBC ’16 we’ve started to brew monthly at two separate breweries – Torrside Brewery and Wincle Brewery – producing around 20BBL of beer a month. That’s around 5 or 6 times more beer per month than we were brewing, however it was much needed as we got to a point where we were selling out before I’d got a chance to post availability out.
Ground floor of the Fiveclouds Tap, Macclesfield
What’s next for Fiveclouds?
We’re spending this year on building up the brewery, focusing on creating continually evolving beers that we want to brew while focusing on quality, consistency and experimentation in our practices and techniques. We’re currently working on getting a take-home product out on the market that we’re happy with, and getting this to the end customer directly in the best possible condition – this is hugely important to us as a small brewery as allows people to experience our product how it’s intended while making it sustainable for us to brew the beers we like by selling direct.
As winner of The Thirsty Games you won the privilege of being the first brewery on the team sheet for IMBC 17. What can people expect?
We’ve got a rough idea of what we’d like to bring to IMBC ’17 and we’re lining up a few special collabs for it! Either way, expect some fresh and juicy hop forward pales/IPAs along with a possible return of last years Double Sunset and a few more specials we have planned!
Where can we find your beer?
Our beers our slowly getting around the north west. Port Street, Common, The Beagle, Brink, Heaton Hops have all taken beer recently. Our cans will soon be available on Eebria to buy, as well as around some bottles shops.
THANKS FIVECLOUDS! SEE YOU AT IMBC 17!
Should you find yourselves Macclesfield-way, we implore you to make a visit to the Fiveclouds Tap & Bottle. It’s a great setup with a really nice underground bunker of a cellar. There’s 4 kegs and a cask line, a fine bottle selection, and it’s open 7 days a week. Taste Fiveclouds wherever you can, they’re coming out with some great beer at the moment and we can’t wait to see what they do at IMBC 17.
THE THIRSTY GAMES will be returning to IMBC 17 with a host of new breweries. Look out for details on that and how to enter very shortly indeed!
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