A Dozen Reasons Why I Still Love Cloudwater

Hello everyone.
It’s been a while.
For one reason or another I’ve not been writing much, partly my health ad partly “real” life getting in the way.
But also partly because over the last few weeks there hasn’t been a lot to say about beer – I’ve had some very good new ones, but they’ve not had anything overly interesting going on that I felt was worth noting down.
But just last week I caught up with Cloudwater as I’ve not had any of their beer for a while, and other than one Stout (you’ll see), they have reminded me just how brilliant beer can be.

And so with further ado, let’s let the beer do the talking.

Twelve Yellow Legs (10%) is part of Cloudwater’s Recurring Special Series and it single handedly reminds me of why this brewery became such a favourite so immediately after it hit the beer scene.
A good Triple India Pale Ale should be a dangerous and sexy trap that lures you in with amped up flavours while hiding its boozy eye crossing strength.
And this does just that.
There’s a delightfully soft and gentle malt body.
It’s all caramel wafers, Belgian waffle and slightly salty honey.
Smooth and creamy it lays the foundation for an easy drinking experience.
The hopping – Strata and Motueka – tongue kiss you with big fresh orange juice and lime leaves, candied peel, sherbet flying saucers, gooseberry skins, white wine tannins, pencil shavings and Hubbabubba.
It’s a huge smack to the chops hopping, bright and crisp, and it’s made that big by the weight of the booze that very cleverly hides away in the background, amping everything up and onto showing its face in the clean and crisp gin soaked finish.

So Cal (4.8%) appears to have been brewed with what are now kind of classic West Coast IPA hops, I’m guessing Cascade, Chinook, that kind of thing.
The cab doesn’t specify, but all the hints are there, starting with the name and moving through the piney grapefruit aroma and down into the beer itself where you’re hit with lemon and lime rind, redwood resin, orange juice, mandarin and lots of fizzy sherbet.
The malting is soft and round, all toffee coated biscuits that sit right at the back of the drink but bring a subtly robust body and a brown sugar sweetness that counterpoints the long bitter and dry finish.

Helles (4.5%)
is dreamily creamy Lager with a big round toffee and pancake, honey and doughnut, salted pretzel malt body and an aroma packed with garden flowers and bread dough.
The hopping is fresh and green and zingy, mown lawns and nettles, herbal leaves and hazel bushes.
And then in the finish there’s just a hint of tangerines that adds another fruity layer as the beer turns crisp and dry.



Somewhere Within (6%) is described as a Juicy IPA, and that’s a pretty accurate description.
Pineapple, apricot, pear and orange juice slosh about, all fresh and zesty and looking for fun.
The aroma is a lightly spiced fruit salad, bright and juicy (there’s that word) and inviting.
In the background the malts provide a solid biscuit, honey, caramel and doughnut body, all sweet and round and chewy, but it’s the blend of hops working with the subtle stone fruit fug of the yeast that makes this a really smashing IPA.


Super Happy (5.3%) is billed as a Juicy Pale and it’s everything you might want this style of beer to be.
A soft and subtle malt body that’s rich with honey doused doughnuts, caramel and biscuits, creates a solid stage for an orange juice and lemon zest, green herbal foliage and metallic basil hop hit.
Nothing more needs to be said, really.
This is simply superb.



The art of brewing shows its hand in many different ways, and often we look towards the big bold beer to talk about the magic that is the drink we love.
But it isn’t always that way.
Take this for example.
Plush (3.5%) is a Nitro Stout that tastes and feels like a beer twice its size.
OK, so you have to pour it hard to help get the body round and smooth, but that’s what a Nitro is all about, and once you’ve poured it you find a thick creamy beer that’s rich with milk chocolate, fresh coffee, fig biscuits, honey and pancakes.
There’s a subtle waft of red and crunchy autumnal leaf litter hops swirling in the background, but this beer is all about its chocolate ice cream smoothness, its satisfying Angel Delight puddingy goodness.
Super stuff.

The Little Pump House At Kinder Reservoir (5%) is a Double Dry Hopped Pale Ale that simply sings its hops at you.
A solid toffee and walnut bread, honey and brioche malt body hides I’m the background of this beer, quietly providing a sweet round platform on which the hops can dance.
And we are not told what hops they are, but it doesn’t really matter when they taste as good as this.
Endless waves of peach and apricot, orange rind,
Sherbet fountains, freshly picked garden herbs, nettles and bracken make for a big bright and super fresh slap that has your tongue tingling as you reach for another mouthful.

Fuzzy (4.2%) is a beautifully executed Hazy Pale packed with peach and apricot, nectarine and pear.
The malting is very subtle, only just there, but just there enough to provide a sticky honey and biscuit body, while the yeast is warm and round and full of stone fruits.
And there are the hops and all their thirst quenching fruity goodness, leaving you with a sessionable beer that would happily see me through an evening in the pub with my mates.


Everyday Beer (5%)
is an “easy drinking” Stout brewed in collaboration with Rock Leopard with a percentage of the proceeds from its sale going to charity.
A noble thing to do, and in this day and age of a Government that doesn’t like the working class, it’s refreshing to have breweries making what is arguably the most working class of beer (apart from, perhaps, the most down to earth of all beers, the Best Bitter) and passing on some of the profit to help others.
But of all the beer I’ve been sent to try, this is the weakest.
It has some of the key flavours you want form a Stout, with coffee and chocolate, vanilla ice cream and toasted brown bread, but there’s not enough weight in here.
Everything is just a little too flighty, a little too polite, and this leaves a big hole where the body ought to be.
Like the whisper of a Stout, this beer shows you the flavours without anywhere enough body to back them up.

The Interior Life And The External World (5%) has changed my mind about Kveik yeast.
You see I’m not a big fan, but here it is nice and subtle.
There’s no in your face yeasty hit, instead just a gentle waft of piquant earthiness, that adds an extra level to this Double Dry Hopped Pale Ale.
The malting is sticky caramel, bread crusts, toffee and wafer goodness, and the hopping is bright and sharp, with lots of fresh lemon rind, garden herbs, lime juice and kiwi flesh.
Very nice indeed.


Happy (3.5%) is a super little Table Beer that, unlike many low ABV beers, has a great big chewy body, all honey and caramel wafers, white bread crusts and Rich Tea biscuits.
Over that the hops are sharp and bright, lashings of lemonade, flying saucers and green herbal leaves that make for an easy drinking crisp and refreshing beer.




Cloudwater’s Barley Wine (10.5%) makes me happy that the dark nights are drawing in.
This is a beer to warm you after a long walk through a dank, damp winter woodland.
Thick and rich and chewy, this is unsurprisingly all about the malting.
An enormous rich and round chewy toffee, treacle, honey stickiness drips over toasted brown bread, cashew nuts and brioche buns.
And underneath this a chest warming brandy snap booziness builds, white rum and dry peaty whisky amping up the sexy molasses that coats my lips, twizzles your tongue and has me reaching for my next mouthful as I watch the rain hit the crunchy red fallen leaves outside my window.

Source: Cloudwater Brew Co.

About Simon Williams

Founder of CAMRGB. Member of The British Guild Of Beer Writers. Leftist bigmouth. Old and grumpy.
This entry was posted in Beer Review, Brewery, CAMRGB and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.