Cloudwater Brew Co to set up shop in Bermondsey

Hawksmoor, D&D, The Ivy, Dishoom, The Zetter, Drake & Morgan, Iberica, Benugo, Leon... the number of London-based hospitality brands beating a path to Manchester in recent years has been quite remarkable. So it's nice to know we can give something back.

Step up Piccadilly-based brewers Cloudwater, who have just announced plans to open a new taproom, distribution centre and events space in an archway in Bermondsey.

The venue will allow the brewery - which was recently named by influential beer site, RateBeer, as the second best in the world - to showcase its range of Manchester-made beers to the capital’s hopheads and represent the North's fecund beer scene.

Our beer should be treated a bit like milk or bread, it tastes much better fresh

Founder and managing director, Paul Jones, told Confidential, “London is actually our largest market by far. The accolades we have had from RateBeer have mostly come through London reviewers.”

Although Paul has ruled out a complete move to London, he feels as though a presence there is essential for Cloudwater fans based in the capital to experience freshly brewed beer which tastes as good as it does in Manchester.

“Our beer should be treated a bit like milk or bread,” he says, “it tastes much better fresh. What we’re all about is making sure our beer represents a drinking experience in the hands of folk that want to enjoy our beer’s subtleties, fruity elements and fresh hoppy combinations.”

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Paul Jones (centre) with some of the Cloudwater team Giles Smith

“London is an eye-wateringly expensive way to do business,” admits Paul. “We can’t say we won’t ever have a brewery presence outside Manchester, because there’s an appetite for our beer from as far away as America, Japan and Australia, but getting fresh beer from Manchester to London within 24 hours is simply an overnight exercise loading a pallet. I’m a northerner through and through, there’s no way I’d want to change the essence of the business.”

There are commercial limits as to what can be done inside the Bermondsey archway on Enid Street, but Cloudwater’s new venue will incorporate a taproom with around a dozen taps, a retail area selling cans and bottles to take away, as well as a distribution hub incorporating a cold storage facility to help transport the fresh beer further across the capital.

“The unit will also allow us to get down to London regularly for talks and to impart a bit of our personality into the environment,” says Paul. “That pride we feel as a Manchester brewery which has become well respected internationally is completely embedded in the north.”

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Hoppy times - Cloudwater Brew Co. launched in 2014

The move brings Cloudwater Brew Co’s story full circle, as Paul cites Bermondsey as the inspiration behind the Manchester business. “Back in 2010, Bermondsey had this intoxicating and infectious atmosphere. It was a focal point for high end, locally made food and drink with independent businesses and creative sharing space.

“It still remains to this day one of the nicest strips for food and drink with St John, Neil’s Yard and Monmouth Coffee. It’s also just a stone’s throw away from Borough Market. I dreamt of being a part of this sort of thing as a business owner in Manchester, so it’s amazing to have the opportunity to do that.

“The whole Northern beer scene is phenomenal,” added Paul, “It’s great to play a part in that. We may be punching above our weight, but all the accolades are on our side and we’re constantly evolving.

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The new taproom will boast around a dozen taps

Cloudwater’s new taproom will be at 73 Enid Street, Bermondsey. The brewery hopes to have the site open to the public by Autumn 2018.