Time To Hit Refresh

There was a time when I thought (and said, during at least one “meet the brewer”) that the last duty I’d hand over to someone else in the team was the job of talking to, communicating with, and being available for then hundreds, now tens of thousands of customers across our social media accounts. You guys make what we do possible with all your passion, and interest, and financial support for good modern beer! It’s been a privilege in today’s fast paced, always on, digitally connected world to have had responsibility for keeping you all abreast of our beers, thoughts, events, and opportunities.  I’ve taken great pride in making myself available for both the best and worst that social media has to offer, being available for questions and concerns late into the evening, and sheltering my colleagues from slurs, accusations, and worse when the going was tough.

From a small team of four of us that started planning round my kitchen table back in September 2015, we are now a team of twenty one in the brewery, and around half that again across our current and soon to be second tap rooms in Manchester and London. We’ve also evolved from a new brewery finding our feet in the north of the UK, to one on an international stage, with wonderful opportunities to present our beer around the world, and spend valuable thinking and idea sharing time with our many friends abroad too, seemingly every month. I confess that as my time has become increasingly occupied with directorial duties, developing new projects and steadying the business, and taking opportunities as they come to represent our work elsewhere in the world, I’m unable to keep up with you all as much as I think we ought to!

I’m excited to announce that as of right now this moment I’m handing over day to day responsibility for our social media accounts to two wonderful, big hearted, well meaning, high achieving individuals. In order to keep to our human-centred, work-life-balance-achieving 40 hour working week we are also going to run our social media accounts during office hours, and during week days (unless we’re participating in an event that requires otherwise). This change from my previous always on approach, that was terrible for preserving head space, and hopeless for getting down time at all, will help get our new community engagement team off to a sustainable start!

Please do your best to welcome both Doreen and Connor, and show them just what a lovely place beer TwitterFacebook, and Instagram can be!

Doreen Barber – “Hello! My name is Doreen and I’m very excited to be joining the amazing bunch of people here at Cloudwater, and to be collaborating alongside Connor and Paul in the brewery’s communications and engagement with the wider community of beer drinkers and industry professionals.

I previously worked at The Five Points Brewing Company in London, where I headed up communications and marketing for over four years as well as organised many of its events, including London Brewers’ Market. In fact, I gave Connor a tour when he came down to visit The Five Points! It was common for me to show around other beer writers and visitors from other breweries and in the trade, meeting a load of people through this as well as representing my former employer at events and festivals.

These experiences and connections are what I’m bringing along and building upon as part of Cloudwater Brew Co’s new community engagement team. I look forward to sharing insights into our brewery, shouting about new beers and announcing some pretty cool events (particularly during the upcoming Manchester Beer Week). Additionally, I’m keen to share the ethos of Cloudwater, and to help foster positive, informative discussions through everything we do. The company values of Cloudwater were what originally drew me to work here (that and the tasty beer, of course!), and I’m eager to do my bit, professionally and personally, in making the beer scene a friendlier, kinder and more inclusive space for everyone.

And I really do mean EVERYONE. I want the loose and motley collective around beer to be where people can ask questions like, “What does DDH stand for?” and not feel self-conscious about doing so. Hell, I had to look this up some time last year! One of the most delightful things about beer is one’s journey of discovery through it, and I want to facilitate that as much as possible for all sorts of folks, whether through online means or in-person conversations along the lines of “Try this!”

I’ve literally just moved up to Manchester from London as of last week, so I’m thrilled to get stuck in to getting to know my new home city and its pubs! If any of you have any essential recommendations for a bookish, cat-loving board gamer who is obsessed with food, drinks and stationery, please let me know!”

Connor Murphy – “Although I’m new to the beer industry, it feels like I’m stepping into something very familiar.

I join Cloudwater after seven years working in PR and marketing, which followed six years as a journalist. But for the past three years, I’ve also organised Manchester Beer Week in my spare time, which has driven me to despair at points - balancing a job, a young child and a city-wide beer festival will do that to you - but has also been incredibly rewarding and allowed me to work with some great folks in beer.

This seems like the logical next step for me and I’m joining a company with an ethos I believe in. I feel a lot of pride for both the UK beer scene and for my hometown so it feels good to be in a position to positively impact each of them. As a former journo and blogger, I’m particularly looking forward to bringing out some of the interesting stories from within the brewery, focused on both the ace people working here and the beer they put so much effort into presenting at its best.

I’m also looking forward to taking conversations deeper on social media, as I believe there’s a lot we can do to help present the UK beer scene in the best possible light. It feels like the online beer community has taken a negative turn in recent months, despite the existence of so many things we should revel in, and there’s potential for us all to contribute to more progressive discussion that aids, rather than stifles, growth.

Like most Mancs, I’m often cynical, sarcastic and misanthropic but remember, we mean no harm, it’s the only language we know. Beneath that we’re full of love and light… honest.”

I’m still hoping to maintain a direct presence on Twitter, to speak on issues or concerns visible from my vantage point, but via @cloudwaterpaul instead of our @cloudwaterbrew accounts, which will be rather more beer focused. That said, we are bold, human, and issues focused, and won’t find it difficult to not just have your back, but get out in front whenever we can.


Paul Jones