New research has revealed the best-rated independent breweries in the UK- and one down the road in Manchester has claimed the top spot.

Manchester itself is the second-best location for beer production in the UK, with over 1,300 beers produced from six breweries, with an average Google rating of 4.63 out of five.

The UK has a long and storied history of beer. Records show that the first UK-brewed beer dates back to 100CE, and some of the nation’s oldest registered companies are breweries.

In more recent times the UK has seen an explosion of craft breweries. In 2018 out of 2,274 active breweries in the UK, 1,978 were microbreweries, almost 90%.

With so much choice on offer, South Western Railway has crunched all the data to present you with the ultimate ranking of the best independent breweries in the UK to help you work out where to start wetting your whistle.

Drawing on data from Google, RateBeer and the Society of Independent Brewers, they have created a map of the definitive guide to the craft beer scene in the UK.

Claiming the top spot is Cloudwater Brew Co. on the Piccadilly Trading Estate in Manchester.

According to the data, they have a 4.6 rating on Google and have produced 816 beers.

They are also one of only three to receive 5 out of 5 for a beer on RateBeer.

(Facebook/ @cloudwaterbrew)

The average alcohol by volume (ABV) percentage of the top-rated beers is a strong 7% - the beer with the highest percentage in the research is Manchester’s Cloudwater A Great Many Breaths (12.70%)

It was founded in 2014 and the company’s very first beers were brewed in February 2015.

Since then, they have made hundreds of different beers and are constantly “in pursuit of ever higher-quality beer.”

According to their company website, they take inspiration from the community when creating their product “creating beer for moments with friends and loved ones, and to accompany quiet pauses and jovial conviviality as we relax and unwind.”

They added: “Our intention is to support and nurture the food, drink and creative communities in Manchester, showcase the passion for innovation and ambition in the North, and help the UK lead the way in honouring tradition whilst pushing boundaries and evolving tastes through modern, seasonal beer.”

For those still ordering in, Cloudwater Brew Company currently has a variety of beers on offer on their online store, including a number of IPAs as well as a chocolatier-inspired Stout, with coffee, cacao and ancho chilli. 

They aren’t the only ones on the list; dive in to find out what the UK’s craft beer hotspots are, faster than you can say ‘A refreshingly pale, hoppy palate pleaser with an enduringly pleasant malty finish.’

Here is the top 15 list:

Discover more about Cloudwater Brew Co over on their website.

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