BREWER: Cloudwater Brew Co., Greater Manchester, England


ABV: 4.5%

VESSEL: 440ml tin

TWITTER: @cloudwaterbrew

INSTAGRAM: cloudwaterbrew

DATE OF POST: 9th May 2021



As soon as the news broke that Cloudwater were going to be landing in Tesco Sammy & I said we have to move on this while it was still topical so interrupt the testing timetable we did.

Ok, we have slightly missed topical I know but whatever, there is still much to say…

We have only reviewed one Cloudwater over the years, no reason for that, just the way the it’s worked out. However, outside of beer reviewing I have had a few CW brews over the years and they have been nothing short of magnificent. A cask best bitter in Dorset springs to mind… Yeah, I know.

As soon as I found out CW were hitting Tesco I have to say a fair few thoughts hit me.

First reaction was, sell out.

Then I thought well actually, there are loads of good breweries in Tesco nowadays. Buxton, Vocation and Thornbridge to name but a few.

But Cloudwater going supermarket just seemed different.

Thoughts then drifted to this being yet another kick in the dick for the small brewers and retailers. But I have to be honest, thoughts also drifted to this raising the profile of craft beer. If enjoying, eyes would open and intrigue to what else is out there you would like to think would ensue.

Ultimately though I hate what’s going on here.

I suppose I should write about the actual beer now.

OK, well, I think I actually predicted what’s going on here before even tasting pretty accurately. This was going to be an average/good beer. Enjoyable yes but that’s as far as it goes.

And Cloudwater have nailed it once again! But, unfortunately this time only in predictability.

It is enjoyable, it fine, it’s a nice enough beer but with a CW stamp on it, it should be better. Sorry, it just should be.

Session IPA (great name btw) starts off in serious style from this Manchester brewer to be fair. The look in glass superb and a sublime nose. It then took a dip and never recovered.

For a session IPA it starts off too bitter for me and then falls into quite a thin taste and then to an almost nothing finish. The bitterness up front does soften over further sips but is way too prominent throughout for this to make an actual sessioner cry ANOTHER ROUND FOR ALL PLEASE LANDLORD.

The drop in body and lack of aftertaste however is where this brew falls down.

It needs more and to be brutally honest from a brewer of this magnitude, I did indeed want… more. Supermarket or not.

Jymi’s Rating: 66%



Ok, in the beer world, Cloudwater selling through Tesco would see them selling out. Also, the Tesco range of Cloudwater is being brewed at Brewdog’s factory. And we all know about the latter’s direction of travel.

But let us not focus on the politics. Let us not be guided or swayed by the significance of this shift for Cloudwater. Let’s just judge the beer before us…

Put simply, this Session IPA is good, if not at all great.

It all started promisingly with a sweet nose, which is driven by our friends mango and pineapple, who are, of course no strangers to the IPA world. And on sight, there’s definitely the anticipated hazy appearance in the glass.

The first sip of Session IPA brings bitter grapefruit up front, which becomes sharp afterwards with a slight hint of sweetness. It’s almost finished off with a hint grassiness. So, it seems to be a good beer which is light with great mouthfeel. However, this lightness gives way to flavour somewhat. And that’s the downfall of this session IPA. Clearly, it would be easy to slip one down after the other but it’s just not punching a whole bag of flavour.

To be fair, it’s exactly what you might expect from a session ipa. It’s defining of its genre, but by no means trailblazing. Would I be happy to have this again? Why, yes I would but it’s certainly not top of the pile by any stretch of the imagination. I see it as being a little showy with no sustenance. Perhaps this is no surprise.

One for a scorching summers day, perhaps. But other than that, seek out something that has a little more to it…

Sammy’s Rating: 68%




Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze since 2017


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