The Manchester craft brewery climbed up three places from last year’s awards, and was rated second only to Hill Farmstead Brewery in Vermont, USA.
The awards, which are now in their 16th year, recognise the best beers, brewers and beer retailers in the world, based on reviews by experienced critics on the RateBeer website.
Flying the UK flag
Speaking about the accolade, Cloudwater managing director Paul Jones told The Morning Advertiser: “We are beyond thrilled to be rated as the second best brewery in the world at RateBeer Best 2018 because of the light it will help to shine on the UK, one of the best brewing traditions and modern scenes in the world. This will no doubt raise the profile of every expression of excellence this country has to offer.
“The fact that so many people were happy with our beer last year, despite some painful flops, is amazing,” he continued. “We promise to try harder, aim higher and do everything we can to keep experimenting, evolving and making the best beer we can for our wonderful customers.”
Cloudwater remains the only UK brewery in the top 10, although the likes of Buxton, Beavertown, Fuller’s, Magic Rock and Northern Monk all make the RateBeer Best top 100. The Manchester brewery was also awarded Best Brewery in the UK, with Suffolk’s Burnt Mill Brewery taking home the accolade of the UK’s Best New Brewer.
ZX Ventures investment
In June 2017, ZX Ventures, a global incubator, operator, and venture capital team backed by Anheuser-Busch InBev, bought a minority stake in the RateBeer, leading to some concerns over the website’s independence.
On the subject of the ZX Ventures investment, Jones admitted that the website's relationship with independent breweries “may still be unresolved”, but added that it remained “the best customer feedback site in the world”.
The annual RateBeer awards are usually celebrated with a beer festival in the United States, but this year’s event did not take place. When if he knew why the festival did not take place this year, Jones declined to comment.