With the rise of craft beer, especially in the UK, there’s a lot of hype around new releases. The Cloudwater DIPA appears to be creating more buzz than most. But what is the Cloudwater DIPA and what’s the big deal?
What is a DIPA?
For starters let’s tackle what a DIPA is. If you’re reading this blog then you probably already know what an IPA is – after all it’s the most common and popular type of beer around at the moment (if you don’t, it stands for India Pale Ale).
The ‘D’ stands for double (and you can get other kinds like triples and black IPAs, too) and on the whole means two things: more hops (not necessarily double) and a higher percentage, typically around 9- or even 10%+. In short, a hoppier and stronger beer.
Also see my blog: Brooklyn’s Beer Mansion.
What is Cloudwater DIPA? And why all the fuss?
Cloudwater is one of the many craft breweries which has popped up in the UK recently and is based in Manchester where it specialises in modern seasonal beer.
The brewery hasn’t been around for long but it’s been causing quite the stir with its DIPA which, from my point of view, is a sort of public experiment to make an awesome IPA. A “…big hoppy beer we’re all really very proud of” in Cloudwater’s own words.
Again, this is my take on it but it’s sort of like a prototype or a beta but for beer with the aim to perfect the recipe. What Cloudwater has done differently is do it publicly rather than behind closed doors.
Cloudwater posted the recipe for v1 on Christmas eve last year and we’re already on v5 just seven months later. Things such as the hops, malt and also the yeast have all changed throughout.
Feedback from outsiders is important and not only is Cloudwater interested in general punters’ views, but also other breweries including Burning Sky and Beavertown.
The most recently DIPA releases, v4 and v5, have been launched together as a pair and in very limited quantities. Cloudwater made 120hl of v3 but only 24hl each of v4, and v5 respectively.
By this point, the Cloudwater DIPA had gotten a decent amount of coverage and interest so online beer retailers such as Beer Merchants found their sites falling over due to the demand. We’ve reached a point where craft beer has a release date, you can pre-order, there are limitations on how many you can buy and customers are struggling to get hold of it.
And it’s not just because the DIPA v4 and v5 were made in such small batches. For example, Beavertown recently released Bloody Notorious – a DIPA version of its Bloody ‘Ell Blood Orange IPA – and I couldn’t for the life of me get hold of a can.
Sadly I haven’t got hold of any of the Cloudwater DIPAs yet but I love what Cloudwater is doing with the interactivity here. Not only has v4 and v5 launched side by side, the brewery is actively requesting people’s opinions of each and even encouraging drinkers to blend them in different ratios.
If you have managed to try them, you can give feedback here (and do comment below, too). I’m hoping Cloudwater will publish the findings.
To quickly end, the difference between the Cloudwater DIPA v4 and v5 is when the hops were added. With the same wort, yeast and amount of dry hops, v4 sees the hops go in exclusively during fermentation while v5 is only post-fermentation.
It’s the kind of thing I’ve wanted to do with homebrew batches to see whether adding brewing sugar or spraymalt makes a difference compared to granulated sugar, but it’s just not practical really.
That’s all for now and hopefully I can pick up a bottle of v4 and v5 to report my findings.