Cloudwater

Fundamentals #46 – Cloudwater x The Veil Barry From Finance DIPA

Prepare yourself: the transatlantic collaborations are coming. And we’ve got Cloudwater to thank for this. Its recent Friends & Family & Beer festival brought a heap of excellent brewers together, many of them from the USA, some of whom were visiting the UK for the first time. And when brewers are in town, they collaborate. The beneficiary of this beer-y bomb cyclone? That’s you!

The resulting volume of collabs flowing in the wake of the festival can be a little overwhelming, however. Dare you try and catch them all? Don’t worry, no one’s judging you if you just want to chill out and enjoy a cold one and leave the hype well alone. Well, almost no one.

When it comes to collaborations, Cloudwater and Richmond, Virginia’s The Veil have previous. They teamed up a couple of years back to produce the devastatingly tropical triple IPA, Chubbles, which sent beer fans into raptures. They followed this up last year with yet another intensely named TIPA, creatively named Paul from Cloudwater. Cans of the latter even featured a caricature of Cloudwater founder Paul Jones, replete with beaming grin and ginger beard.

Now this dynamic duo has teamed up again to produce a beer you’ll be positively Jonesing for, the equally imaginatively named Barry from Finance. I’m not sure who Barry is, but evidently he’s a fan of fruit juice, as that is what this beer can be described as in the simplest of terms. Barry features gratuitous additions of pineapple and passion fruit, alongside orange zest for a citrus kick.

Make no mistake, this hazy yellow beer is thick as. Evidently, it’s loaded with as much fruit as your breakfast smoothie, and then some. But while it does have a lush mouthfeel, buoyed by waves of tropical fruit flavour (and not much else – not that this matters), its girthiness is met by tart, citrus flavours. Where one moment it’s full and rich, the next it’s zippy and zesty.

If you like the juice levels in your juice-grenades loaded to the max, then this is a beer for you. The person judging you for missing out on it? Well, that’s me.

Matthew Curtis is a freelance writer, photographer and author of our award-winning Fundamentals column. He's written for publications including BEER, Ferment, Good Beer Hunting and Original Gravity. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @totalcurtis. Pick up a can of Barry From Finance ASAP...

The Beer Lover’s Table: Aperitivo Snacks and Cloudwater x Evil Twin Pet Nat Slushie

More and more, the idea that beer and wine are two distinct categories of beverage is being challenged. If the growing number of vinous beers – like Cloudwater x Evil Twin’s Pet Nat Slushie – is any indication, we’ll soon be awash in wine-inspired beers, hopped wines, and other experimental hybrids.

A quick primer: Pet Nat – an abbreviation for pétillant naturel, or ‘naturally sparkling’ – is bubbly wine, humbly made. Unlike Champagne or Cava, it only undergoes a single fermentation, and it’s bottled while that fermentation is still underway (a process known as the méthode ancestrale, if you want to get fancy). It can be risky; worst case, if things don’t go according to plan, you might end up with a flat bottle.

But when all goes well, Pet Nat emerges delicately carbonated, relatively low in alcohol, lightly hazy, and – depending on the grapes you use – typically tastes young and bright and fruit-forward and fun.

All that said: this is a beer, not a Pet Nat, though it calls itself a Pet Nat Slushie. A collaboration between Cloudwater and Evil Twin made for the former’s forthcoming Friends & Family & Beer Festival, the beer is a tart and fruity kettle sour (with luscious passion fruit notes), married with a dry brut IPA fermented with Champagne yeast. It may share little in terms of ingredients or process with true Pét Nat, but what it does share is the same spirit of playfulness and gluggability (or glou-glou, as the French might say).

I recently visited Venice for the first time, and left enamoured with the city’s cicchetti culture: there are few greater pleasures than wandering from bar to bàcaro, nibbling on crostini as you go, always with a glass in hand. With that inspiration in mind, I’ve pulled together recipes for three quick aperitivo snacks you could pair with this Pet Nat Slushie (or any Pet Nat, really). You can make any or all of them, depending on the occasion, with bowls of spiced almonds or olives to go alongside. It’s snack hour, baby – and these simple, fresh, and riffable recipes are perfect with a side of bubbles.

Chickpea and Tomato Salad
200g (7oz) cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ tablespoon balsamic glaze
Fine sea salt
1 small red onion
1 400g (14oz) can chickpeas
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large handful flat-leaf parsley
1 large handful mint
4 tablespoons (1/4 US cup) capers
235ml (1 US cup) vegetable oil (optional; see step 4)
Juice of 1 lime 100g (3.5 oz) soft goat cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 160° Celsius (320° Fahrenheit). Meanwhile, halve the cherry tomatoes and arrange on a foil-covered baking sheet. Drizzle over 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the balsamic glaze, and season with a pinch of sea salt. Roast for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until the tomatoes are softened and jammy. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

2. Finely dice the onion and transfer to a small bowl. Top up with cold water and leave to soak for 10-20 minutes; this helps remove the onion’s bite.

3. Meanwhile, drain and rinse the chickpeas and pat to dry. Transfer to a large bowl, alongside the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle over the caraway seeds and a large pinch of salt, plus a good grind of black pepper. Roughly chop the parsley and mint and add to the bowl. Toss to evenly mix.

4. Drain the capers and pat to dry. You can either add them to the salad as is, or fry them for some added crunch. If you plan to fry them, add the vegetable oil to a medium frying pan and place over high heat. Leave for several minutes until the oil is very hot, and a test caper starts sizzling rapidly as soon as it hits the oil. Add the remaining capers and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until they’re darkened and crispy; some may ‘blossom’. Using a slotted spoon or spider strainer, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and leave to cool.

5. Just before serving, drain the onion pieces and transfer to the salad. Squeeze over the lime juice and toss to coat. Crumble over the goat cheese. Garnish with the capers.

Artichoke Crostini
1 small (half-sized) baguette
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove
Approximately 8 tablespoons (1/2 US cup) ricotta
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts
Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Small handful mint leaves
Parmigiano Reggiano, shaved

1. Turn the grill section of your oven to high. Using a serrated knife, slice the baguette into 1-inch pieces (save the end pieces for a snack); you want to end up with roughly 8 pieces. Arrange on a foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle over the olive oil. Place under the grill for 3-6 minutes, or until golden-brown but not burned.

2. Remove from the grill. While the bread is still hot, grate a garlic clove lightly on each piece.

3. Once the bread has cooled, dollop roughly 1 tablespoon of ricotta on each slice and spread to the edges. Top each piece with a marinated artichoke heart, and season with the red pepper flakes (or cayenne pepper), salt, and pepper to taste.

4. Finely chop the mint leaves and sprinkle on top of the crostini. Top with the shaved Parmigiano Reggiano.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Figs with Gorgonzola
8 large figs
100g (3.5oz) mild, soft blue cheese (preferably Gorgonzola Dolce)
8 slices prosciutto or Parma ham
Olive oil

1. Rinse and dry the figs. Using a serrated knife, slice upwards from the base of each fig so each has a deep cut but is still attached at the stem.

2. Spoon a small amount of Gorgonzola into each fig. Wrap with a single piece of prosciutto or Parma ham, and secure with a toothpick.

3. Turn your oven’s grill to its highest setting. Transfer the figs to a foil-lined baking sheet and place under the grill. Cook for 2-4 minutes, turning halfway, or until the ham is darkened and the cheese is starting to melt.

4. Remove from the oven and drizzle over a scant amount of olive oil. Serve while still warm.

Claire M. Bullen is a professional food and travel writer, a beerhound and an all-around lover of tasty things. Our first book with Claire, The Beer Lover’s Table: Seasonal Recipes and Modern Beer Pairings, is published by Dog’n’Bone Books this month (March 2019). Follow her on Twitter at @clairembullen.

#HBBAdvent Beer 8: Cloudwater Brewed All Season DIPA (UK)

Cloudwater says: Double IPA is a style close to our hearts and one we've worked hard to continually refine. This beer is the result of two years' experience in developing recipes that are deliciously drinkable at a higher ABV, delivering clean and precise flavours. Thick body and sweetness provide the platform to showcase huge tropical and citrus hop flavours.
Aroma & Flavour: Big mango and stone fruit flavours, with a light, sweet malt presentation
Body: Full-bodied, smooth and juicy
Aftertaste: Lingering fruit juice sweetness, no bitterness

We say: When it comes to Team Cloudwater, we have so much love to give. These guys have supported us as much as we’ve supported them over the past few years, we’re both madly passionate about independence and well, we sell a hell of a lot of their beer. This Brewed All Season DIPA is one of their best brews of the year and we’re delighted to include it in our little 2018 beer capsule.

Fundamentals #25 — Cloudwater DIPA V3 2018 & V3.1

Time can be good for IPAs. I’m not talking about cellaring your freshest beers and letting them fade away like a forgotten 90’s pop star - this is not how you make good barleywine. I’m talking about what a brewery can learn once it has had time to experiment and glean a little maturity. With experience and a combination of technological and creative know-how comes great beer. With the re-release of its V3 Double IPA and coincidental launch of an up-to-date V3.1, Manchester’s Cloudwater has done just that.

I remember when I went to the London launch of Cloudwater beers back in 2015, but I don’t remember the pales and IPAs I drank that day. Instead I remember a tasty bergamot hopfenweisse along with some soft and luxurious low-strength beers served from cask. But as pleasant as these beers were at the time, they were not to be a marker of this breweries bright future. Its foray into intensely hopped beers, inspired by the brightest starlets of the American scene such as The Veil, Treehouse and Trillium, would eventually fulfil that role.

Cloudwater’s evolving DIPA series would catapult the brewery into the light fantastic, seeing it claim accolades on both sides of the pond. And yet, none of the 13 beers in this range would showcase potent hop characteristics in the same way as the trend-breaking beers that would follow. Sure, it proved to be a worthy experiment. It helped the brewery figure out what its equipment was capable of, and what its fans wanted more of. But these beers are now a world away from the weekly-released DDH treats we’ve come to expect. So when I see folks pine for these one-off experiments, I find myself asking why that is.

This fresh release of V3 is an interesting experience, but for me this beer doesn’t represent where this brewery is at in 2018. It has that characteristic softness that is so strongly representative of what a Cloudwater beer is to me, along with flavours of ripe melon and a little honey. However the back end of V3 is one of cloying sweetness and some hot alcohol—not the bright burst of hop intensity I’ve come to expect.

V3.1 contains three times the dry hop addition as the revivified edition of V3. You could call it triple dry hopped with its 24 grams per litre to the meagre 8 grams in the older recipe. But this is the kind of beer we have now become accustomed to from Cloudwater. It’s not TDH, its perfectly normal. The newer recipe is far hazier than the previous one, but the aroma and flavour is also dramatically more intense. While its appearance is cloudy, soft, tropical notes of papaya and lychee provide the brightness, with the intensity turned up to its maximum.

This is the kind of beer I want from Cloudwater, a beer that demonstrates maturity and nuance in the same beat as it does vibrancy and intensity. I hope those nostalgic for the older version got what they wanted out of this release, but as far as I’m concerned I hope Cloudwater keep learning, keep evolving, and keep developing these righteously juicy beers.

You can find more from beer writer Matthew Curtis as UK editor of Good Beer Hunting and on Twitter @totalcurtis. Pick up both V3 cans while you still, erm, can, in store or online.

Our December All Killer No Filler box revealed

We've still got a couple of All Killer No Filler beer subscription boxes left for you to pick up before Christmas (or get it delivered in time for NYE). If you've been wavering, check out what's in this month's box to get you excited (SPOILER ALERT). What a way to end the year!

 

 

Rock The Mash Tun Ep #1: Paul Jones from Cloudwater Brew Co

Photo credit:  @cwiss

Photo credit: @cwiss

Hop Burns & Black presents Rock the Mash Tun; conversations about beer and music and everything in between.

This episode features Paul Jones, co-founder of Cloudwater Brew Co. Over the course of the show (recorded in front of a live beer shop audience), we drink some of Paul's all-time favourite beers, listen to tracks that reflect Paul's beery journey, and hear fascinating insights from the chap heading up one of the most exciting breweries on the planet.

#HBBAdvent Beer 1: Cloudwater x Modern Times Lipids & Proteins IPA (Manchester)

Cloudwater says: Brewed in collaboration with Modern Times, this hazy IPA was brewed with Golden Promise and oats, and features bold US hops and fresh harvest Nelson Sauvin from New Zealand.

We say: A Cloudwater beer had to kick off this year's advent calendar - the Manchester brewery has played a hugely important part in the life of our shop in 2017.

We've been so fortunate to work closely with the Cloudwater team, which has meant we've been able to get our hands on positively greedy amounts of their amazing beers for you. In fact, we've sent more than 10,000 cans of Cloudwater goodness out the door and across the country - including, excitingly, our own collaboration brewed for our 3rd birthday.

Cloudwater is changing the way the UK enjoys beer (for the better) and we're pleased to have been able to play a tiny part in that. Here's to you, guys - we raise this glass of great big hazy juicebomb to you. - Jen

Hop Burns & Bottle Share with Paul Jones of Cloudwater Brew Co

We were privileged to travel to Manchester last month to brew with one of the very best breweries in the world, Cloudwater Brew Co. It was a fantastic experience - the people behind the beer are as top-notch as the beer they produce - and we especially enjoyed the chance to spend time with Cloudwater's charismatic co-founder Paul Jones.

We knew there was a lot more we wanted to discuss, so what better way to hear more than at one of our infamous Bottle Shares? As is customary, we asked Paul to nominate some of his all-time favourite beers to share with the crowd, and this time we had the added bonus of Paul selecting a piece of music to match each beer.

You'll find Paul's pairings below, which gave way to much robust discussion. We were keen to hear more about Paul's thoughts on freshness, the changing UK palate, the art of label design and of course the future for Cloudwater. Also, don't tell anyone, but Paul sees himself as more of a wine man than a beer lover - shhhh...

Luckily we recorded it all so stay tuned for the first episode of our new beer and music podcast, Rock The Mashtun, coming your way shortly.

Huge props to our guests too, who brought along one of the finest selections of share beers seen to date - everything from super-fresh Treehouse cans to Cantillon, Lost Abbey, The Bruery, Garage Project and more. Usually we write them all down but the challenge proved too vast this time!

Paul's pairings

1. Water: Tegernseer Hell 4.8% with Benjamin Britten, Four Sea Interludes from 'Peter Grimes', 1: Dawn 

2. Malt: Kernel Imperial Brown Stout 9.3% with D'Angelo, Chicken Grease

3. Hops: Cloudwater x Hop Burns & Black HOP DDH NZ Pale 5.6% with David Bowie, Let's Dance

4. Yeast: Schneider Weisse Aventinus Vintage 2013 Wheat Doppelbock 8.2% with Steve Reich & Pat Metheny, Electric Counterpart - (Fast Movement - Part 3)

5. Wood: Cloudwater Speyside BA Imperial Chocolate Stout 12% with Jimi Hendrix, All Along The Watchtower

Fundamentals #13 – Cloudwater x Dry & Bitter Mobile Speaker DIPA

Collaborations are vitally important to the success of the modern beer industry. Thousands of new breweries have emerged over the past decade and I believe that the relationships they develop and the skills that they learn from these encounters are fundamentally important to the success of these businesses.

I say that as someone who might be experiencing a little bit of “collab fatigue”, which I’m sure you may have felt too. Keeping up with the constant tide of new releases can, at times, be exhausting.

For many breweries, these collaborations are about more than simply making a beer together and learning from that shared experience. There are other important factors – and I mean really important stuff such as hanging out and partying together – which also need to be considered. Mobile Speaker from Manchester’s Cloudwater and Denmark’s Dry & Bitter is that sense of camaraderie condensed into liquid form.

“Collaborations are a chance to get together with people we like and whose beer we admire,” Dry & Bitter’s Søren Parker Wagner says. “The idea is often to do something that we, as brewers, really want to do and get to learn from each others way of working. This way we both get something professionally out of it while we get to hang with friends that we really like.”

“Our collaborations give us a chance to showcase the closeness we love with friends in the industry,” adds Cloudwater’s Paul Jones. “Most of the time we keep a face of professionalism and focus here at Cloudwater, when behind the scenes we have a great deal of fun and occasionally party pretty hard too.”

Mobile Speaker celebrates a little in-joke between Jones and Wagner. Both enjoy carrying a mobile Bluetooth speaker with them as they cruise from pub to bar on a night out. From personal experience I can tell you that Jones has the ability to effortlessly switch from Kenny G to Run the Jewels without so much as flinching, adding to the already-lively atmosphere as he does so.

And what of the beer itself? Well, Mobile Speaker is the kind of fuzzy yet electrically hoppy New England style DIPA that Cloudwater has built much of its reputation on. Expect intense aromas of mango that metamorphose into spikey, bright flavours of pineapple and pink grapefruit on the palate. Bitterness fans will be pleased to note that there’s plenty of that here too. This DIPA still has the ability to tell you that it’s a beer when you taste it, even though it looks like a glass of fruit juice.

In true Hop Burns & Black style, I also had to ask which of Paul and Søren’s favourite jams are currently getting airtime on their respective mobile speakers.

Søren: “Favourite jam to put on these days would probably be Super Rich Kids by Frank Ocean. Hip Hop for sure!”

Paul: “Totally depends on the crowd. It has to be something most folk within earshot will dig – with a number of the Cloudwater crew that’d often be Disclosure’s Caracal album, or Stormzy’s Shut Up. 80s classics rouse most people into song, Fetty Wap’s My Way and Trap Queen is never far down the recently played list - but neither is Avril Lavigne’s I’m With You either!”

Matthew Curtis is the UK editor of Good Beer Hunting and you can also find him on Twitter @totalcurtis. You can pick up Mobile Speaker DIPA in store or online while stocks last. Look out for our own new third anniversary collaboration with Cloudwater, HOP, which launches at our birthday party at the Brick Brewery taproom on Friday 24 November.

Good things come in threes

collabs.jpg

With our third birthday on the horizon at the end of next month (three! Can you believe it?), we thought we'd better do something rather special.

We got into this business not only because of our love of beer (and hot sauce, and vinyl), but because we love people who love beer. It's an unending privilege to work in the craft beer industry, which is one of the most inclusive and supportive industries we've ever known. That's why we love collaborations - hanging out with great people, making magic happen.

So we're properly stoked to announce the HB&B Hoppy Trinity - three anniversary collabs with three of our favourite breweries, Cloudwater, Fourpure and Brick Brewery.

HOP - HB&B x Cloudwater DDH NZ Pale: When it comes to the best hoppy beers in the UK, even the world, Manchester masters Cloudwater are top of our list. HOP is a double dry hopped pale ale rammed to the gunnels with the most succulent New Zealand hops in a nod to our Kiwi roots and a salute to one of our favourite breweries of all time.

BURNS - HB&B x Fourpure Mango & Habanero Red Ale: Ain't no party like a Fourpure party - we've enjoyed many good times with these Bermondsey legends and sold a stack of their terrific beers since the day we opened. For this beer, inspiration came from our chilli wall - specifically the amazing Burning Desire Burning Indulgence Mango & Habanero Hot Sauce. Stand by for a Juicy Banger with a kick.

BLACK - HB&B x Brick Brewery Blueberry & Vanilla Stout: Our Peckham neighbour Brick has always held a special place in our heart. We propped up the bar on the first day founder Ian Stewart threw open the doors to his tap room under the arches of Peckham Rye Station and have sunk many pints at the brewery since, so it was about time we made a beer together. One of our favourite dark beers of 2017 is Brick's Melange Imperial Stout - so we reckon this is going to knock your socks off.

In addition, we're also creating a new hot sauce, DESPACIO, with Peckham street food legends Slow Richie's. All three beers - plus the sauce - will be available at our third birthday party, to be held at the Brick Brewery Taproom in Blenheim Grove on Friday 24th November (come on down), as well as in-store, online and in a quality bar or bottle shop near you.

Enormous, enormous thanks to all the breweries involved - what a way to mark three awesome years. We can't wait to celebrate with you all.

brickcollage.jpg

HB&B Sub Club - our July and August boxes revealed

Our All Killer No Filler HB&B Sub Club boxes just keep getting better. Check out the most recent boxes below and then get yourself over to the shop to join the club...

July

 

August

HB&B Sub Club - our April box revealed

Here's what was in our first ever HB&B Sub Club box that went out last month. We're just as excited about this month's box - we've found some mind-blowingly awesome beers to fill it with yet again...

We'll be releasing a limited number of new memberships this week. These will go on sale on Friday 5th April at 9am. Head here and get your finger on the button. More info on the boxes can be found at our FAQs page, or simply drop us a line.

The Beer Lover’s Table: Spring Orecchiette and Cloudwater Bergamot Sour

I look forward to asparagus season like a fan whose favourite band is about to drop a long-awaited new album. I will travel across the city in search of a single bunch of wild garlic. And sweet peas, shorn straight from their pods? For me, that’s an aroma that perfectly telegraphs spring.

After months of darkness and stodge, bright, fresh flavours feel revelatory — and that applies to beer, too. I can’t think of one more appropriate for springtime sipping than Cloudwater’s limited edition Bergamot Sour, which is made following the annual winter harvest of bergamots in Marrakech. The brewery adds the zest and juice of the fruits following fermentation, which preserves their delicate flavour.

Never had bergamots before? You may be more familiar with these hybrid lemon- oranges than you’d think: they’re a key component in Earl Grey tea, for starters. As Cloudwater writes, ‘Bergamots have imparted their unique, fresh, fragrant, and floral flavours’ to this beer. Nose it, and you’ll detect something that’s reminiscent of lemon, but more: more complex, subtler and definitely reminiscent of blossoming things.

To accompany this beer and its refreshing zing, make this springtime pasta. Brilliant green asparagus, peas, and wild garlic are a verdant seasonal trifecta, while goat curd and lemon zest add richness and tang. But it’s the hazelnuts toasted in brown butter - and the smallest dash of lavender - that really make this pasta memorable. If you’re lucky enough to have a sunny balcony or back garden, this recipe is an ideal candidate for al fresco eating.

Spring Orecchiette with Asparagus, Peas, Goat Curd and Brown Butter
Serves 4-6

125g unsalted butter, divided
100g blanched hazelnuts
½ tsp dried lavender
250g asparagus, woody ends removed and sliced in 5cm pieces
200g peas (preferably fresh)
1 small bunch wild garlic
500g orecchiette
Sea salt
125g goat curd
Parmigiano-Reggiano
Freshly ground black pepper
Zest of one lemon

Add 100g of the butter to a small frying pan over medium-high heat. When the butter has just melted, add in the hazelnuts. Cook for approximately three minutes, or until the hazelnuts are toasted; the butter will foam up as it begins to brown. Watch carefully, as it can go from browned to burned very quickly. When it has darkened and smells nutty and toasty, remove from the heat, pouring the mixture into a bowl to help it cool. Add the lavender and stir. Set bowl aside.

Prepare a large saucepan with gently boiling, well-salted water. Add the orecchiette and cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until al dente.

As the pasta cooks, heat the remaining 25g butter over medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Add the asparagus and peas and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until bright green and just tender. Roughly tear the wild garlic leaves and add to the frying pan with the vegetables, stirring until they begin to wilt, approximately 30 seconds. Remove frying pan from the heat.

When the pasta is cooked, drain, reserving approximately 100ml of the cooking water. Add the drained pasta back to the saucepan and tip in the asparagus, peas, and wild garlic mix, tossing to combine. Drain the lavender brown butter from the hazelnuts — keep those in the bowl, for the minute - and into the saucepan, and add 50ml of the pasta liquid and half of the goat curd. Stir until a light sauce forms, adding small amounts of additional cooking water if necessary to help the sauce bind.

Divide the pasta among the plates, topping with dollops of the remaining goat curd, a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper, freshly grated lemon zest, the toasted hazelnuts and a good sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve immediately.

Claire M. Bullen is a professional food and travel writer, a beerhound and all-around lover of tasty things. When she's not cracking open a cold one, she's probably cooking up roasted lamb with hummus. Or chicken laksa. Or pumpkin bread. You can follow her at @clairembullen. Pick up some Cloudwater Bergamot Sour while stocks last in store or at our online shop

The Beer Lover’s Table: Cast Iron Skillet Pizza and Cloudwater IPL El Dorado Mosaic

February is a fitting time to celebrate one of history’s greatest love affairs.

Yes: I’m talking about pizza and beer. I hardly need to explain why the two go hand-in- hand, why there’s carbful chemistry between the cheesy and chewy and the bubbly and refreshing.

While it’s pretty much impossible to dismiss the match, there are a couple of schools of thought when it comes to the pairing specifics. Some argue for lager’s thirst-quenching fizz, while others bat for IPA as pizza’s natural partner. Me, I think Cloudwater’s newly canned IPL El Dorado Mosaic is the best of both worlds. As bold as it is boshable, it’s perfection with a slice of pie. There’s even a whiff of the floral on the nose, which means it plays beautifully with ingredients like fresh basil and delicate ricotta.

All that’s left to do, then, is to make yourself some pizza from scratch. If that sounds a little intimidating, you’re not alone; baking with yeast seems to be one of those culinary challenges that strikes fear into the hearts of even the most seasoned cooks. But trust me: you don’t have to be Bake Off-worthy to master this dough (it takes less than 10 minutes of active time to throw together).

Created first by Jim Lahey — the man who’s best known for his cult favourite no-knead bread — and tweaked by Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen, this dough recipe yields a pizza that, in a cast-iron skillet, takes on an appealing crunch but has a rustic, bready heartiness to it, too. Combined with a sauce made of whole, canned plum tomatoes, it’s as good as homemade pizza gets.

If you ask me, any pizza worth its salt needs at least three kinds of cheese, and this one also obliges. I’ve topped mine with mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano and ricotta. Add a finishing flourish of chilli-infused honey and fresh basil to make a showstopper.

(The only downside? The dough recipe may be ludicrously simple, but it needs roughly 24 hours to rise. Best get cooking.)

Cast Iron Skillet Pizza
Yields 2 25-30cm pizzas

For the dough:
375g (3 cups) all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp fast-action dry yeast
1 ½ tsp sea salt 300ml water

For the sauce:
2 400g tins whole, peeled plum tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
¾ tsp sea salt
¾ tsp caster sugar
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the pizza:
Cornmeal
200g mozzarella (preferably not packed in water)
Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano
Extra virgin olive oil
Ricotta Fresh basil
Chilli-infused honey*

First, make your pizza dough. Roughly 24 hours before you plan to eat your pizza, add the flour, yeast, sea salt, and water to a large bowl, stirring until fully combined. Cover with clingfilm and let sit in a non-draughty part of your house for one day.

The next day, preheat your oven to as hot as it will go (mine went to 300 degrees C). Before you get back to your waiting dough, prep your sauce. Drain the tins of tomatoes, emptying contents into a sieve set over a large bowl. Allow the excess liquid to drain off for 20-30 minutes, stirring and pressing on the tomatoes to make sure as much is removed as possible. (As Deb Perelman points out, this reserved tomato juice is ideal for Bloody Marys - don’t throw it out!)

Once the tomatoes are drained, add them to a food processor with the garlic, salt, sugar, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

Next, prepare your cast iron skillet (note: if you don’t have one, you can also make one large pizza on a full-sized baking sheet). Pour a bit of olive oil onto a paper towel and wipe a thin layer onto the skillet. Take a small handful of cornmeal and sprinkle over, knocking away any excess into the sink.

Onto your dough: when you remove the clingfilm, you should find it looking bubbly and smelling wonderfully yeasty. Ensure your countertop is covered with lots of flour before dumping out the dough. This dough is almost alarmingly liquid and sticky, and will nearly puddle onto the counter. Don’t worry: this is how it’s supposed to be. Cover the dough’s surface with a sprinkling of flour, and, with a pastry cutter or sharp knife, divide into two equal portions. With floured hands, scoop one of the portions into a rough ball-shape, allowing it to stretch and fall onto the counter from your hands several times. Then, pick it up and place it into the centre of your prepared skillet. This dough is too soft to roll out; instead, use your fingertips to press it delicately towards the edges of the pan.

Once the dough is ready, top with half of the prepared sauce, leaving a small margin at the edges. Slice half of your mozzarella into thin pieces and arrange on top of the pizza. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of Parmigiano before placing in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes before rotating slightly to prevent burning. Bake for another 3-5 minutes until it emerges risen, leopard-spotted and audibly sizzling.

Remove from the oven and allow the pizza to rest for 1-2 minutes. Before serving, finish it off by topping with another handful of Parmigiano, scoops of milky ricotta, fresh basil leaves and a generous crosshatch of chilli-infused honey. (Once it’s been devoured, don’t forget about the other half of the dough — make a second pizza, which should keep well for a day or two. Breakfast, anyone?)

*I used Mike’s Hot Honey, but it’s very simple to make your own chilli-infused honey.

Claire M. Bullen is a professional food and travel writer, a beerhound and all-around lover of tasty things. When she's not cracking open a cold one, she's probably cooking up roasted lamb with hummus. Or chicken laksa. Or pumpkin bread. You can follow her at @clairembullen. And pick up some Cloudwater IPL El Dorado Mosaic while stocks last in store or at our online shop

The Beer Lover’s Table: Cloudwater IPA Citra and Lamb Chops with Wild Garlic

For anyone who follows the British craft beer scene, Cloudwater needs no introduction. The Manchester-based brewery’s releases are as coveted as H&M’s designer capsule collections, and snapped up almost as quickly. Cloudwater even markets their beers like fashion, with the arty, one-off labels to match.

Hence their new ‘Spring/Summer’ release: the practically perfect IPA Citra, which pours the colour of a ripe peach. Juicy, resinous, brightly sweet but girded with bitterness, it’s a beautiful expression of all that this most tropical of hops can do.

If you’re drinking a fresh, zingy beer like this one, you'd better be serving it with some seasonal grub, too. Happy spring: it’s time to put lamb back on the menu. Even better, we’re now in that several-week window each year when wild garlic is in season, and trust me, this is one harvest you do not want to sleep on. Like an extra-piquant version of spring onions, wild garlic – aka ramps – adds an alliumy oomph to this chimichurri.

Lamb is one of those foods that works well with a number of different beer styles: stouts and porters if you want to bring out its roastiness, Belgian dubbels to highlight its sweetness, easy-drinking ambers as all-rounders. But an IPA like Cloudwater’s really shines here. Its hoppiness helps cut through the fatty richness of the chops, and its sweetness and full body can really stand up to the meat’s depth of flavour (not to mention the intense pungency of that wild garlic).

A quick note: lamb loin chops aren’t the same as the tomahawk-shaped rib chops that so many of us are familiar with, but they’re just as tender – and more generously proportioned, besides. This quick-cooking cut is circumferenced by a beautiful band of fat (which you’d be misguided to remove) and bisected by a little T-bone. In fact, think of these chops as the lamb equivalent of a T-bone steak, except, well, miniature. If you’re eating these as a main with a few sides, allow at least two per person; if you’re greedy like me, go for three.

Lamb Loin Chops with Wild Garlic Chimichurri
Serves 2-ish

For the wild garlic chimichurri:
1 bunch (approx. 50g) wild garlic leaves
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Zest of one lemon Juice of ½ lemon
Approx. 1 tsp flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp caster sugar

For the lamb:
4 lamb loin chops
Flaky sea salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Olive oil

First, make the chimichurri: add all ingredients to a food processor and whizz up until the mixture is well blended and looks pesto-esque (you may need to wipe down the sides and give it a few goes to get all the leafy bits incorporated). Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Set aside.

About an hour before you want to cook your lamb, remove your chops from the fridge. Season generously with salt and pepper on both sides, and allow to come to room temperature.

Add 1-2 tbs olive oil to a cast-iron (or other heavy-bottomed) frying pan, and heat until very hot. Add the four loins and allow to cook for four minutes without moving or flipping, or until the lamb has developed a nice brown crust. Flip and cook for 3-4 minutes more, depending on how well done you like your lamb. Remove from the heat and leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

When serving, top your lamb with generous glops of the chimichurri (you will likely have some left over). Garnish with a wild garlic leaf or two. Finally, make sure that everyone else in the vicinity has also eaten the dish; your garlic breath will be bordering on the flammable afterwards.

Claire M. Bullen is a professional food and travel writer, a beerhound and all-around lover of tasty things. When she's not cracking open a cold one, she's probably cooking up roasted lamb with hummus. Or chicken laksa. Or pumpkin bread. You can follow her at @clairembullen.

New stuff in store: 17 December

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So much incredible new goodness in store this week for Christmas that we've got no time to write it all up outside of a bullet-point list. Feast your eyes on the below, then come on in and treat your taste buds. (PS: make sure you take home the above can-tastic Star Wars trilogy if you're a fan.. Moor-sporting staff member not included with purchase.)

  • Brixton Megawatt Double IPA
  • Buxton Rain Shadow Russian Imperial Stout
  • Cloudwater Brown Ale
  • Moor TFA (Totally F***ing Awesome) Black IPA
  • Mikkeller Milk Stout and Nuclear Hop Assault Imperial IPA
  • Boon Oude Geuze Bone Dry Mikkeller Selection
  • Mad Hatter Brew Co Tzatziki Sour and Blueberry Pancake & Maple Syrup
  • Marble Chocolate
  • Vocation Divide & Conquer Black IPA
  • Summer Wine Sucker Punch Pale Ale
  • Plus the awesome new craft beer card game Hip Hops!
  • AND Beavertown's brand new Invasion of the Lupuloids IPA Series: Declaration 1 and 2 on flagonfill!

New stuff in store: 5 November

On a grey and dreary Guy Fawkes' Day, here are a few things to put a rocket under your bum and a spring in your step - AMAZING NEW BEERS. 

From the best part of London - that is, the South Side - we bring you:

  • Brixton Pacific APA - it's no secret that our favourite Brixton beer has always been their juicy American-style pale ale, Atlantic, so - with a natural bias for all things down under - we were especially excited to see the new special edition Pacific Antipodean Pale Ale, showcasing the region’s boldest hops. A terrific beer!
  • Brew By Numbers Black IPA - BBNO brings back the Black IPA, this time hopped with one of our favourite hops, the mighty Mosaic.
  • Fourpure Northern Latitude - A delicious Scandanavian-inspired rye ale that's made for wintry times (and the perfect contrast to their forthcoming Southern Latitude summer ale, which was a huge smash last Christmas). And it has a reindeer on the can!
  • Late Knights Peckham Rye IPA - finally back on shelf! Our favourite beer from the pub kings (and fellow Dulwich Hamlet sponsors) of South East London.

From further afield in this fine country of ours:

  • Cloudwater DIPA - Manchester's excellent Cloudwater Brewery turns one on Saturday and to celebrate, they're launching a brand new, massively-hopped Double IPA. We'll have it on flagon-fill (at 9%, the biggest beer we've ever poured into 1-litre bottles) and in 330ml bottles from Saturday.
  • Moor Not Another Eurovision Beer - Every week we demand more Moor and this week they've obliged with this succulent new rye amber, brewed with Brewdog for this year's Collab Fest. Plus, one of our absolute favourites strikes back as Return of the Empire, um, returns.

Finally, from even further afield:

  • Jester King - adding to our illustrious stock of 750ml sharing bottles, we add two from this incredible US farmhouse brewery committed to making wild ales and spontaneously fermented beers. Vernal Dichomotomy is a saison fermented with kumquats, rosemary, lavender and spearmint (yes!) and Provenance Lemon & Lime is a wild-fermented citrus ale. 
  • And Imma let you finish, but Evil Twin & Lervig's Big Ass Money, an imperial stout brewed with money and pizza, has the best name and description of all time. Due in on Friday.

New stuff in store: 20 May

Somebody say MOTHERLODE? Hold on to your hats, beer lovers - this week is a veritable gold rush of new and exciting brews. (They're being delivered today and tomorrow, so all should be on shelf by end of play Thursday unless something goes horribly wrong.) 

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin. 

  • On the South-East side of things, we've re-upped in time for the Bank Holiday on all your favourites, as well as recent additions from Brew By Numbers (their White IPA has all the beer geeks talking), Kernel (their Black IPA = likewise), a brand new Single Hop Citra from Hop Stuff, Orbit's ever-popular Nico Koln-style lager in cans, Weird Beard's Little Things That Kill, plus the entire One Mile End range is back on shelf, spanking fresh from the brewery.

  • Looking further afield to the rest of the UK, good tings agarwn here too:

    • Three new barrel-aged beauties from Siren Craft Brew - BA Day Dream, Siren's Mikkeller collab, an imperial white stout aged in bourbon barrels; BA Shattered Dream, an imperial stout brewed with coffee, vanilla and cocoa nibs aged in banyuls and bourbon barrels; and Long Forgotten Journey, a golden barley wine aged in Grand Marnier barrels for more than two years with added orange peel. Never say we're not good to you. Never. 

    • You loved the beers from new Manchester brewery Cloudwater so much that we simply had to get more. We've got their IPA in bottles, with their Session IPA set to hit flagon-fill soon. (See what else we've got coming up on flagon-fill here.)

    • Our love for Tom Oliver's miraculous way with cider knows no bounds - we've been gorging ourselves on samples of his Fine Dry Perry over the past couple of weeks and now we're finally sharing it with you. Think you don't like pear cider? Think again. We'd pick this 750ml beauty over most champagnes any day of the week.

  • And, arguably saving the best for last, looking even further afield to Europe and across the pond it's time to get very excited indeed:

    • From the US, we've nabbed a case each of Founders' Blushing Monk, brewed with a ridiculous amount of raspberries and Belgian yeast, and the infamous KBS, an imperial breakfast stout brewed with massive amounts of coffee and chocolates, then cave-aged in oak bourbon barrels for an entire year. Are you visibly salivating in an embarrassing fashion yet? We are. 

    • We also welcome new beers from Prairie (their Funky Gold Amarillo, a mix of tropical fruit and sour Prairie funk); canned heaven from Ska (just how cool are the Rudie Session IPA cans?), the exotically hopped Two Roads Li'l Heaven, made with Azacca, Calypso, Mosaic and Equinox, and Evil Twin's gloriously tart Nomader Weisse; plus Yankee classics in the form of Laguitas IPA and Brooklyn Sorachi Ace in 355ml bottles!

    • From Denmark, we've got three newbies from To Ol - F*** Art, The Heathens are Coming saison, Friends With Benefits APA and another impressive addition to our already-impressive gluten free range, Reparationsbajer GF Pale Ale. That GF shelf will surely be groaning under its own weight soon... Plus we've loaded up on more Mikkeller cans and added the Spontandryhop Citra to the top shelf.

    • Finally, last but not least etc, from Belgium, we say goededag to Rodenbachs in big bottles - the Vintage and Caractère Rouge - and the much-vaunted Straffe Hendrik Wild.

Is that enough for you? If you can't see any of these on shelf, just ask - we too are wondering where the hell we're going to put all of it. See you soon.

New stuff in store: 30 April

We don't think our shelves have ever been under this much strain - we literally can't fit any more beer on them, much as we'd like to. Well over 300 different beers and 100+ hot sauces (plus all that wine and cider too) await you for your Bank Holiday enjoyment. Come get some.

  • The long awaited, much vaunted Cloudwater makes its debut. Choose from their beautifully packaged Session IPA or Bergamot Hopfen Weisse hefeweizen. Headed up by James Campbell, ex Marble, you know this new brewery is destined for great things.
  • Two new additions from Weird Beard make their appearance - Boring Brown Beer, an imperial best bitter which is anything but dull, and Out of Office, an outstanding American IPA brewed with Ethiopian coffee.
  • More Moor. Again. We're suckers for pretty much everything from this terrific Bristol brewery and have restocked up on the glorious Hoppiness IPA and classic Revival bitter, as well as brand new golden ale Radiance. Sing out if you can't see these on shelf as we're fighting for space right now - too many beers, not enough shelves...
  • The 500ml Mikkeller cans we brought in last week have been going nuts, so we got even more. It's an unholy trinity of American Dream pilsner, Peter Pale & Mary pale ale and now Green Gold IPA too. Can-tastically spoiled for choice.
  • Congratulations to our friends at One Mile End, who celebrated their 100th brew with a spectacular Blood Orange Wheat DIPA. Be quick to get your hands on a bottle.
  • Pressure Drop's delightful Wallbanger wit makes a return for spring-summer, as does Siren's White Tips witbier (which we also don't currently have room for on shelf sadly... Ask us and we'll get you one from the cellar.)
  • On the hot sauce front, we've just had a delivery of a crate of wonders from around the world - a bunch of legendary sauces from Half Moon Bay, including Bee Sting, a sriracha sauce to rival our best-selling favourite Huy Fong, the super-versatile Iguana range and Pirate's Blend simmer sauces, and Cajohn's epic boozy BBQ sauces. You know it makes sense.
  • Lastly, as we type, Beavertown Bloody Ell and new Skull King DIPA are due in very shortly... watch this space.