Oh no, he’s not going to write about beer is he ?”  I hear Dick and Dave groan.

Only a bit.  But I did want to show this picture of a proper “scummy head” on a beer I scored 5 (only the eighth this decade, fact fans).

One of those NBSS maximums was the original Cloudwater Bitter in the York Tap,just before those Manc mischief makers pulled the plug on cask the first time.

To be honest, I had a few less than stellar pints of their ever-changing range too, so I’m pleased they’re only suppling the cask to outlets they trust, even if that means a lot is going to micro pubs and beer shops.

Luckily, the Maypole is a Proper Pub.


Heated conservatory for lily-livered tourists
Stickers you can trust

I reckon this and the Blue are the best places for quality cask in Cambridge, even if I baulk at a quantity of pumps that normally spells trouble.

Tipping up four days into “Cloudwater launch“, I had a choice of two.

Look closely

Yes, it really was £5.80 for the India Porter, the only possible choice.

Cambridge is an expensive city, £4.50 for Landlord and a fiver a pint for the stronger crafty stuff in several pubs.

Branded glassware would be nice

Anyway, that’s what a pint should look like if you ask me.

Tight head, bubbles

It was nectar, obviously.  Read Tandleman for the tasting notes.

I drank it much quickly. Much too quickly for a £5.80 pint.

But what next ?  Will I be able to buy it next week, in Cambridge or London or Manchester ?  That’s the question.


  1. Can’t fault their marketing.
    “We’re stopping cask!” Trendy bloggers write hundreds of articles.
    “Oops, we screwed up. We’ll do cask again!” Trendy bloggers write hundreds of articles.
    I guess one day I’ll drink one of their beers.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, back in the Paul Pry yesterday and there was nothing wrong with my pint of Swan Winter Swanderland there, although it wasn’t quite as good as my Banks’s Amber Bitter in the Eagle Vaults.
        As for “You’re not paying enough, Paul” I was paying 12p for a pint of Bitter when I started using pubs in 1971 and taking inflation into account that would be £1.65 now so even Humphrey’s OBB is over priced.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Aren’t you following the debate on Discord, Paul. Only by paying a “fair price” i.e. £4.39 a pint will be preserve the record number of railway arch breweries that give us a theoretical choice of 7,372 different beers.. Or something.


      3. No, I don’t much follow that Discord as it’s too bad tempered.
        £1.65 would be a fair price for a pint but it’s doubled to £3.30 and half the proper pubs have closed. For £4.39 I would expect complimentary Bombay Mix.
        Whatever happened to that organisation that kept saying “Real Ale – every pub should have one”? They championed the consumer not the “craft” brewer expecting us all to subsidise his hobby under a railway arch.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. “on a beer I scored 5 (only the eighth this decade, fact fans” –Thanks for including this, as I was very curious about whether you’d scored a beer 5 even once. Am I right that it has been an especially rare occurrence in the last 1 or 2 years? I was thinking that I haven’t seen higher than a 4.0 in the whole time I’ve been reading your blog, but maybe there was and I missed it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My records aren’t quite as good as I’d like, Mark ? I’d say NBSS 4.5 and 5 are the same thing. I’m a bit self-conscious about giving 5s, but the beer in Burnage, Hendon last year, and the pub I love in Prestatyn but never write about in case people visit it was perfect. Oddly, I’ve had two more beers since the Cloudwater that were also 4.5 to 5, one of them Bass,

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “and the pub I love in Prestatyn but never write about in case people visit it was perfect”

        Keeping that one close to your chest I see.


  3. “Branded glassware would be nice” – but you got branded glassware.
    Expecting the glass to match the beer is a bit much to expect, even at £5.80.


  4. “Heated conservatory for lily-livered tourists”

    Now, now. We get those over here; and not just where it gets down to -40!*
    (* no need to put C or F at minus 40 – it’s all the same) 🙂

    “Yes, it really was £5.80 for the India Porter, the only possible choice.”

    Oh, I saw that right away.

    “Branded glassware would be nice”

    It is branded. I think you mean same branded or some such. 😉

    “Tight head, bubbles”

    But no lacings?

    “Will I be able to buy it next week, in Cambridge or London or Manchester ? That’s the question.”

    Pfft. Whatever happened to ‘local’ beers? 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Will I be able to buy it next week” usually becomes not remembering asking that question where hopjuices are involved! So many 1dimensional hop led concoctions fighting for bar space, they just blur together for me. The draught Cloudwater this weekend was good, above average for it’s type but I’ll feel no loss if I never have one again.

      There are interesting, richly flavoured beers worth paying some premium for. Hopjuices are lazy options for brewers, with more premium than the beer itself supports.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. As you know I’m very rarely the conveyor of bad news on here.
    Sunshine is my middle name.
    ( Actually my favourite ever TV newsman was CNN’s Florida-based Al Sunshine)
    But I do hope you’ve washed your hands thoroughly since your visit to the self-service McDonald’s in the last post.
    An investigation this week discovered traces of faeces on every McDonald’s self-service touchscreen tested.
    I do hope this doesn’t put you off your avocado on sourdough.


    1. I hate to think what they’d find, if they took cultures from the heavily-fumbled copies of the DM found lying about on some bars, prof ; )


  6. Having tried a pint of Cloudwater – AW 18 Extra Special Bitter (5.5%) in the very excellent Arcadia Bar in Headingley yesterday teatime, I have to say it is the finest thing I have tasted all year. Flavoursome, complex, balanced, smooth, excellent mouth feel. To compare it with brews like Banks’ Bitter and other similar traditional brews is like comparing Dripping on bread with the finest Beluga Caviar on blinis – yes they are both excellent, but you don’t have Caviar everyday, do you. And yes, like the finest Caviar, it was £5.70 a pint, a whopping £1.70 above the price of ‘everyday’ beers. £11.40 for 2 pints well spent? You bet it was. This was the last cask (of 2), but Arcadia will be getting more Cloudwater cask beers on a regular basis. NBSS Score? Easy 4.5. I only scored 5 once.


      1. Yes, to compare the two is to compare chalk and apples.
        Tiny Rebel Cwtch and Harveys Sussex Best Bitter are both wonderful representations of their style but who is to say that one is better than the other and one is the best beer in Britain ?

        Liked by 1 person

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