As a brewery, we aim to promote a healthy and positive relationship and experience with the beer we brew for your enjoyment.
We want to encourage our customers to make responsible choices about their drinking, and to be conscious of how excess alcohol consumption can have negative effects on one’s physical and mental health.
We hope the following information will be useful for you to make informed decisions as well as to provide guidance on how to seek further information or support for you or anyone you know.
Alcoholic Units and How to Manage Them
Alcoholic units were initially introduced in the United Kingdom in 1987 to provide a basic way of keeping track of one’s drinking. A single unit is 10ml, or 8g, of alcohol, which roughly is what the average adult can process in an hour. As there’s a lot of variation in the diverse population of wonderful humans who drink beer, each individual’s ability to process alcohol varies according to their size, BMI, genetic make up, metabolism, and overall health.
The size of a drink and its alcohol by volume (ABV) will have an affect on the number of units in a drink. In our tap rooms, you’ll find our beers with higher ABV will be served in smaller pours, such as a half pint or a third of a pint, and our more sessionable strength beers will be served in a full 2/3rd pint measure. However, all of our beers available at our tap rooms are available in smaller measures to help our customers appropriately portion their intake for what’s best for them. We are more than happy to serve 1/3rd measures of our Pale, for example!
You can calculate the number of units by multiplying the alcohol by volume with the total volume of any drink and dividing the result by 1000. For example, our recent Baltic Porter at 6.6% abv in a half-pint serve is 1.9 units:
6.6 (abv) x 440 (volume in ml) ÷ 1000 = units
An imperial pint is 568ml, a ⅔ pint is 379ml, a ½ pint is 284ml and a ⅓ pint is 189ml. In our tap rooms, the largest size you will receive of our draft beer is a ⅔ size pour.
Here are some of our more common beers and their alcohol by volume and units in respective serving sizes.
The NHS recommends that adults keep their drinking under 14 units a week, and to spread that amount over a period of 3 or more days. You can read more about calculating alcohol units on the NHS website. If you find yourself exceeding the recommended number of weekly units regularly, it may be worth reviewing some options on managing your intake, and seeing what the possible side effects and issues, both short term and long term, of alcohol are.
Even if you don’t regularly exceed the recommended number of units per week, it’s always good to take time out to reflect on your drinking, and to take breaks when you need them, especially if drinking affects your day-to-day life. Although we make beer at Cloudwater for everyday moments, we don’t make beer with the intention that you or us to drink alcohol every single day. Taking time-out periods from alcohol is perfectly normal and healthful, and we have non-alcoholic options at our tap rooms if you’re looking to cut back on the booze but not the social time with friends and colleagues.
If you are pregnant, the NHS recommends that you avoid drinking any alcohol to minimise health risks to your baby. Speak to your doctor or midwife if you have any questions or concerns.
Small Pale — 2.9% abv
⅓ @ 0.5 units; ½ @ 0.8 units; ⅔ @ 1.1 units
440ml @ 1.3 units; pint @ 1.6 units
Light Lager — 3.9% abv
⅓ @ 0.7 units; ½ @ 1.1 units; ⅔ @ 1.5 units
440ml @ 1.7 units; pint @ 2.2 units
Pale Ale — 4% abv
⅓ @ 0.8 units; ½ @ 1.1 units; ⅔ @ 1.5 units
440ml @ 1.8 units; pint @ 2.3 units
Helles — 4.8% abv
⅓ @ 0.9 units; ½ @ 1.4 units; ⅔ @ 1.8 units
440ml @ 2.1 units; pint @ 2.7 units
Pilsner — 5.2% abv
⅓ @ 1 unit; ½ @ 1.5 units; ⅔ @ 2 units
440ml @ 2.29 units; pint @ 3 units
DDH Pale — 5.5% abv
⅓ @ 1 unit; ½ @ 1.6 units; ⅔ @ 2.1 units
440ml @ 2.4 units; pint @ 3.1 units
IPA — 6.5% abv
⅓ @ 1.2 units; ½ @ 1.8 units; ⅔ @ 2.5 units
440ml @ 2.9 units
DIPA — 8.5% abv
⅓ @ 1.6 units; ½ @ 2.4 units
440ml @ 3.7 units
TIPA — 10% abv
⅓ @ 1.8 units; ½ @ 2.8 units
440ml @ 4.4 units
Alcohol and Mental Health
Mental health isn’t a subject many breweries may want to talk about, but it’s so important. We want you to be in the right headspace when enjoying the beers we brew and distribute out to you, ideally relaxed and enjoying whatever moment you are in, whether it’s at a beer festival, one of our tap rooms, in the comfort of your home or from one of the great many shops, bars and pubs our beers can get out to.
Drinking can often be a form of escape for us at different times in our lives, and it’s important to recognise when that instance might be and to know when to put down the glass and seek help. There are serious links to heavy drinking and mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, and other ways drinking can affect our moods, our self-image and how we treat other people. If you ever feel like you “need” a drink to get through the day, or if you have ever acted negatively towards yourself or others because of a drinking session, or if you worry about harming yourself or others, seek support now.
If you are finding yourself feeling low, anxious, depressed or irritable, particularly if it involves thoughts of harming yourself or others or if you are suffering from panic attacks or obsessive thoughts and behaviours, talk to your GP and seek out what counselling options are available for you. Mental illness is something so many of us struggle with. indeed from our founder Paul Jones to some of the team here at Cloudwater, we have experienced and suffered with mental health issues over our lives. We encourage you to talk with friends, family and any other support network you may have as well as seek out professional help near you.
Here is a list of mental health helplines for UK residents. For those of you who work alongside us in the drinks industry, have a look at The Benevolent, who support members of the drinks trade in a range of different ways. The main thing is to seek out help in any and all ways you need it, and know that it’s totally okay to seek help!
Having an Active Lifestyle
Beer and exercise seem to be almost polar opposites in many people’s mindsets, but there’s no reason why active people can’t enjoy a beer or two, or why someone who frequents beer festival can’t frequent the gym as well. Exercise is a great way to improve your physical and mental health, and can help mitigate the calorie intake from beer. Plus, it can be a nice way to socialise and meet folks, especially when doing things like weight training, playing football after work or meeting up with friends for a run, which are things a few members of our team are active in.
Walking is a wonderful way of keeping fit, and it’s especially fantastic if you manage to take in some of the natural scenery we have access to, particularly in the Manchester area. We like this article from the Manchester Evening News featuring scenic walks with a pub at the end for those of you who need a bit extra motivation. Even urban areas can provide great walking opportunities alongside canalways and seeking out a city’s sights.
If you want to be more active, but don’t know where to start feel free to reach out to us on social media, or speak with your GP and chat with friends who are also looking at incorporating workouts or other activities into their lives.