At Rate Beer Best, it became clear that this was the year the British breweries would assert themselves among the best in the world. Many of the best British breweries have followed in the footsteps of their American counterparts and are now evolving at a similar pace — but what really made this the year of the Brits was the shift in Rate Beer’s own audience. According to Joe Tucker, founder of RateBeer.com, London is now the largest metropolitan market for Rate Beer’s user base.
Two of the more prominent breweries in the U.K. scene are Beavertown in London and Cloudwater in Manchester, both taking home multiple awards from the festival this year. While it’s a welcome recognition for Beavertown who were early-in in 2011, for Cloudwater, now in their second year, it’s nearly a coup won with hazy IPAs.
Both gentlemen were happy to sit down together and discuss some of the factors at work in the UK market, and how their generations of craft brewing are playing out relative to the US zeitgeist.