BrewDog

HB&B Sub Club - our April box revealed

Here's what was in our first ever HB&B Sub Club box that went out last month. We're just as excited about this month's box - we've found some mind-blowingly awesome beers to fill it with yet again...

We'll be releasing a limited number of new memberships this week. These will go on sale on Friday 5th April at 9am. Head here and get your finger on the button. More info on the boxes can be found at our FAQs page, or simply drop us a line.

#HBBAdvent Beer 23: BrewDog Neon Overlord Mango & Chilli IPA (Scotland)

BrewDog says: This chili mango IPA lures you in with intense juicy fruit before sending you reeling with a habanero knockout punch. This dry, light- bodied IPA has devastating bitterness backed up with spicy heat, firing your tastebuds on all cylinders - citrus, chili and resin, on light biscuit malt. The mango adds a sweet, almost soothing layer, which balances the incredible intensity of this twisted India pale ale.

We say: OK, so we're properly sick of BrewDog's stunts too. The casino thing? Spare us. But it can't be denied that the Scottish attention-seekers knock out some pretty great specials, one of which being the new Self Assembly Pope (like drinking a Bounty bar) and another being this one. Neon Overlord appeals to us for obvious reasons - chilli and beer, together? Bring it. If you hate chilli beers, this may not float your boat quite so much. But if you don't mind a little kick, OK, a LOT of kick, then this is the beer for you. A fruity hit from the mango followed by a powerful chilli rush. We love it. - Jen

Each night, we'll reveal the day's hand-picked beer from our Big Beery Advent Calendar. Feel free to comment below or have your say on Twitter or Instagram (#HBBAdvent). Neon Overlord was so popular at ours that we've completely sold out, but keep an eye out for more BrewDog specials in the future.

HB&B Top Three: Low ABV Beers

Great tasting, alcohol-free beers are - perhaps surprisingly - one of the most common requests at our shop. Luckily we have a great range of no-booze beers that really hit the spot, for all the refreshment and none of the headache. Here are three of the best.

Maisel’s Weisse Hefe-Weissbier Alkoholfrei
Regulars at HB&B might have seen this one lurking in the corner at the back - it’s a constant on our German shelves. Despite never exceeding 0.5% alc/vol, no compromises are made on flavour with this beer from Maisel’s, brewers of great wheat beers. Its rich spice and orange flavours and soft, sweet banana aromas make it a great Bavarian hefe-weisse beer. Click to purchase.

Brewdog Nanny State
The best-selling beer in the shop during #DryJanuary, Nanny State “gives the V's to Abv”. This beer is full to the brim with hops, giving citrusy, piney flavours balanced against a light and bitter body. This pale ale is one for the hop-heads. Click to purchase.

Square Root/Pressure Drop Smallbanger Wit Beer Shandy
Pressure Drop teamed up with London soda-makers Square Root to create this ridiculously tasty Wit Beer Shandy. It takes Pressure Drop’s already fantastic Lime & Ginger Wallbanger Wit and injects Square Root’s fresh soda. The result is so refreshing, we might just give up booze altogether... Click to purchase.

Bonus Beer! Schofferhofer Grapefruit
Coming in at the 2.5% ABV mark, this is obviously not an alcohol-free beer, but it’s so damn good that we thought you ought to know about it, and what’s 2.5% between friends? This incredibly sweet and refreshing brew is made by blending Schofferhoffer Hefeweizen with carbonated grapefruit juice. The perfect beer to accompany the last of the summer sun. Click to purchase.

As selected by HB&B Assistant Manager Catherine Lockhart

Matthew Curtis's No More Heroes X – BrewDog Albino Squid Assassin

Before we begin I want to do a little exercise. Gather all of your thoughts about BrewDog. Collect every last iota of opinion you hold for or against the Scottish brewer. Regardless of whether this newly formed mass of consciousness is mostly fanaticism, ambivalence or spite, I want you to place it in a box, seal it and push it to one side.

All done? Good. Finally, take a few deep, audible breaths, sit back and relax. Now you can concentrate on enjoying BrewDog for what they’re best at: making beer.

I’d imagine that you’re already familiar with BrewDog’s core range of beers. After all, its flagship, Punk IPA, sits resplendent on supermarket shelves across the length and breadth of this fair land.

As solid as BrewDog’s core range of beers is, the real highlights for me recently have been its special releases. Born To Die, a limited release double IPA was my beer of the year and Black Eyed King Imp was one of the best barrel aged imperial stouts I’ve seen come out of a UK brewery. Its latest release; a rye IPA ridiculously named Albino Squid Assassin easily ranks among them.

Squiddie, as I’ve affectionately begun to refer to it, pours a satisfyingly russet shade of red with a rocky off-white head. It absolutely stinks of American hops with tangerine, pink grapefruit and candyfloss aromas fighting for your attention. Squiddie is loaded with citrus flavours that are balanced out with a sweet, white pepper spiciness and just the right amount of sweetness to stop it from becoming cloying. It’s one of the most accomplished beers BrewDog have produced to date.

It doesn’t even look like a BrewDog beer thanks to some great design from artist Joe Wilson that adorns the can. I still have no idea why it’s called Albino Squid Assassin though.

You can find more from beer writer Matthew Curtis at his excellent beer blog, Total Ales, and Good Beer Hunting, and on Twitter @totalcurtis. 

New stuff in store: 11 December

Deck the halls... with shedloads of beer. Here's what's in your Christmas stocking this week.

  • Glorious new 750ml sharing bottles, including Anspach & Hobday's White Coffee Milk Stout, Wiper & True's Winter Ale Abbey Rye and Vocation's Naughty & Nice Chocolate Stout (also now in can too).
  • We went a bit overboard on Bristol breweries this week, knowing how much you love them. From Arbor, we've got their Grifter APA, Breakfast Stout and Basta Rosse, a red ale brewed with Italian brewery Mezzo Passo. We also see the triumphant return of their Yakima Valley IPA, one of the most-requested beers we've ever had. From Wiper & True, we've got Amber Simcoe Steam, Small Beer #13 and Sorachi Ace IPA in addition to the 750ml Winter Ale Abbey Rye. Be quick, these won't hang around.
  • On a South-East London stylee, we've got Partizan's delicious 300th Brew, Don Biere de Garde, as well as Late Knights' roasty Penge Porter and the return of the ultimate shirk, rest and play beverage, Deserter IPA.
  • Also from within the M25, say hello to Big Smoke Brew Co's sublime Underworld Milk Stout and the return of Weird Beard's Duke Of Dank Red IPA. (The clue is in the name.) A little further out, Siren's Pompelmocelo is a delightfully tart grapefruit IPA that will definitely put a pucker in your pint.
  • Brewdog has launched its annual Prototype series, where you get to have your say on which beers should make it onto their core line-up. We've got two this week: Milk Stout (see a theme here?) and Black IPA
  • One final Christmas beer joins the ranks: Rogue Santa's Private Reserve, a hoppy, sprucey, malty amber ale.
  • And finally - because: Star Wars - we've re-upped on Northern Monk's It's A Trap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Beery Advent Calendar - Beer 4: Brewdog Hinterland, 9% (Scotland)

Each night at 8pm, we'll post a blog about the day's hand-picked beer in our Big Beery Advent Calendar - why we love the brewery, why we've chosen the beer, why we think you'll love it too. Feel free to comment below or have your say on Twitter.

Brewdog says: "A 9% abv oatmeal milk stout brewed with vanilla pods and cocoa, it is a eulogy to the depths of the imagination – and what dwells therein. On the aroma, deep reverberating roasty bitterness and sweet dark chocolate. Also in evidence, woodsmoke, rich vanilla, mocha and marzipan. When tasting, Hinterland reveals itself as the beer moves from cellar temperature to something warmer, yielding all of the above plus dried fruit, rich ganache and ending on a resoundingly warming finish redolent of chocolate liqueur or plum brandy."

We say: People are quick to diss Brewdog, with its ill-advised PR stunts and seeming ubiquity. But we’ll have no truck with Tall Poppy Syndrome here. At the end of the day, Brewdog continues to make some of the tastiest beers in the country and this limited edition stout is one of our favourites of 2015. A treat to look at, with its intricate label designed by artist Johanna Basford, this feels like a treat when you drink it too. And we all need to treat ourselves sometimes. (Ed: often.)

New stuff in store: 12 November

WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE. We'd argue there has never been a better selection of beer in the shop. Possibly even the country. Fighting talk? Check out our new arrivals for yourselves (on top of all the awesomeness already on the shelves)...

  • Magic Rock cans. They're here, at the time of writing. Whether they'll still be here by the end of the day... We're expecting more soon but in the meantime, stocks are ridiculously small so get your skates on and slide on down to ours. Limit of one can per type (Salty Kiss, High Wire Grapefruit, Cannonball) per customer, first come, first served.
  • Beavertown Heavy Water returns! Stocks of this 9% sour cherry and sea salt imperial stout are also sadly limited so be quick. If you miss out on this, keep an eye out for when we put the Beavertown/Other Half Brewing collab, Duel of the Fates IPA, on flagon-fill...
  • New Siren klaxon! (Is that a tautology?) Two super Siren seasonals return this week - the 2015 Caribbean Chocolate Cake, a "tropical stout with cacao nibs, cypress wood and lactose", and Ryesing Tides, a rye IPA bursting with tropical fruits and berries. If your mouth isn't watering right now, then you're dead inside.
  • Our first Christmas beer hits the shelves and it's a corker - Weird Beard's Black Christmas is a cranberry Christmas stout, subtly roasty, slightly tart and with some gorgeous coconut and vanilla notes from the Sorachi Ace hops. We bought up the last four cases of this from the brewery so that you can share the love (or reward yourself).
  • More Christmas beers due in on Friday from Brewdog (Hoppy Christmas) and Mikkeller (Hoppy Lovin' Xmas). Good to see some creative thinking going on with those beer names.
  • Two new cans from one of our all-time favourite breweries, Moor! Smokey Horyzon is another rye seasonal making its return right now, and we know it's going to taste amazing in Moor's exceptionally-produced can-conditioned cans. Dark Alliance, a hoppy 4.7% coffee stout originally brewed with those other Bristol superstars, Arbor, also makes its debut in cans. NB: someone at Moor really likes Star Wars.
  • Want milk stouts? We've got two of the best - Wild Beer Millionaire salted caramel milk stout and Wiper & True Milkshake.
  • Fourpure Southern Latitude joins its Northern cousin on the can shelves. Compare and contrast its juicy summery sunshine with the rich wintry rye of its Scandavian-inspired counterpart, Northern Latitude.
  • London Beer Lab's Simcoe & Rye IPA comes in to replace its much-loved Mosaic IPA. A change of hops is as good as a holiday - you're going to like this one. A lot.
  • We welcome London Brewing Company to HB&B for the first time. Their gloriously Art Deco cans of Upright Session IPA taste as good as they look.
  • Last but not least, Pressure Drop's Freimann's Dunkelweisse, a lovely smoky wheat beer, returns at the perfect time for pairing up with autumnal dishes. It's a great foodie beer, this. Great with cheese too - right, Ned Palmer?

Such a goddamn line-up. Who's your daddy?

New stuff in store, 29 October

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We're always excited about new beers but some weeks, we look at the list and have to pinch ourselves because it's so good. This is one of these times. Every time a coconut. Read this and weep (with joy).

  • We're close to collecting the whole set of the 2015 Rainbow Project beers. The latest one from the amazingly inventive series of UK/US collaborations to hit the shelves is Violet Underground from Somerset's Wild Beer and California's Firestone Walker. This tart sour bomb is a blend of Wild Beer's Somerset Wild and Firestone's Cowbell and brings together yeast from Somerset cider orchards, Californian raspberries and French candied violet petals. We have it in 375ml bottles and look out for it when it hits the flagon-fill line-up.
  • Speaking of flagon-fill, we are beyond excited about putting on Magic Rock Cross Pollination Heather Honey IPA. The Twitterati went mental for this beer when it hit the taps at Indyman. Let's see what all the fuss is about. Keep watching the skies/flagon-fill page...
  • Speaking of people going mental at Indyman... Here's another star from that particular beer fest. Mad Hatter Tzatziki Sour. A Berliner Weisse with flavours of yoghurt, mint and cucumber. Has to be enjoyed to be believed!
  • Vocation cans all the way from sunny West Yorkshire. These both look incredible and rate off the charts. We've got the Heart & Soul session IPA and Life & Death IPA. 
  • Speaking of death... Brewdog Born To Die. It's back. Available from 6pm on Friday.
  • Other returns from beyond the grave include the uber-delicious Westbrook Gose and Evil Twin Molotov Lite - our best-selling 8.5% beer ever. We've also got more Evil Twin cans in the form of Bikini Beer, which provides a welcome contrast to the Molotov monster at just 2.7%.

That enough for you?

 

 

New stuff in store, 22 October

Your usual round-up of all the fresh goodness hitting our shores this week, kicking off with the freshest of the bunch...

  • Moor Envy Fresh Hop. We can't get enough of Moor's amazing can-conditioned beers and nor can you. Justin at Moor has refused to bottle this beer in the past as he doesn't believe wet-hopped beers stand up to the bottling and aging process. However he's now got his fancy-pants canning action, which has allowed him to capture the freshness and seal it in for you to enjoy. This is a fantastically drinkable beer - get your mitts on it and drink it super-fresh.
  • More Bristol action from the much-loved Arbor: we've got The Ego Has Landed APA in bottle and Rocketman IPA in both bottle and on flagon-fill.
  • Wylam Jakehead hits in bottle!
  • From Liverpool's Mad Hatter, Nightmare on Bold St is a beautiful milk stout recommended by one of our customers who told us to look out for it and grab it if we ever saw it. We did and we are very happy about it.
  • We've also finally got Sussex superstar Dark Star's legendary APA in cans.
  • Brewdog's Pumpkin King hits shelves just in time for Halloween.
  • Some welcome returns from the US - Stone Delicious IPA (gluten-reduced but you'd never know it) and Oskar Blues Pinner Session IPA, which is joined for the first time by Old Chub Nitro, a glorious Scotch Ale you need to add to your autumn arsenal.
  • News flash - we've got new Green Flash. The San Diego brewery's Soul Style IPA brings together Citra, Simcoe, and Cascade hops, allowing citrus and floral notes to break gently on your palate. As good as it sounds.
  • FInally, some Omnipollo re-ups - the phenomenally popular Mazarin Pale Ale is back and we've re-upped on the Bianca Mango Lassi Gose. Yee-hah.

Autumnal beers

While we've been blessed with a brief respite of Indian summer (and the sun is shining gloriously as we type this), it can't be denied that autumn is well and truly upon us. The barbecue is about to be packed away, the slow cooker has been dusted off from its summer slumber and - perhaps best of all - it's time to indulge in the delights of autumnal beers. 

We've had a great time reacquainting ourselves with the glorious nutty, malty beers that are often overlooked in this world of hop-forward IPAs and wacky sours, as well as discovering the best of the new-season offerings. We (well, Glenn) have also spent a bit of time in the kitchen, cooking up a storm and matching these beers to a host of hearty dishes that signal the move to the cooler months.

Here are a few of the autumnal beer and food matches we've enjoyed the most.

AleSmith Anvil ESB with Spiced Duck & Date Tagine

We feel a bit guilty plugging this beer as there's only one left in store (in our Bin Ends Box) but we loved it so much that it felt wrong to leave it out. Anvil ESB is an American brewery's take on an English style with English hops, but don't let that put you off. Big caramel and nutty flavours make this beer the perfect match for food, so we put it with a Moroccan-style duck and it knocked our socks off. You can find the recipe here, we got the duck from our friends at Flock & Herd and the dates, spices and preserved lemon from Khan's Bargain Store, Rye Lane's very own shop of dreams.

 

Beavertown Stingy Jack with Jamie Oliver's pumpkin chickpea curry

Beavertown's 2015 pumpkin ale is possibly the best pumpkin beer we've ever had. Smooth as you like, gentle spices that conjure up the most festive of autumn flavours... It's a pure delight to drink and conveniently arrived on the same day that Glenn decided to use up the pumpkin sitting in our vege bin in a subtly spiced curry. It's not rocket science to match pumpkin with pumpkin, but this worked a treat. We can only imagine what it would be like with a roast and caramelised vegetables.

 

Howling Hops Running Beer

This is such a delicious beer - probably our favourite from the Howling Hops range right now, and believe us when we say it has stiff competition. A brown ale hopped with Citra, Chinook and Centennial, there's something wonderfully light and delicate about it. We didn't drink it with food, instead simply enjoying it with friends on the tables outside the shop one recent evening, but this is such a food-friendly style, you could just about match it with anything and it would work.

 

Flying Dog Dogtoberfest Marzen with Nigel Slater's slow-cooked sausages

We drank this malty, German-style lager with a improvised variation on Nigel Slater's slow-cooked sausage recipe and it was the bomb. German-style beer + German-style food = no-brainer Oktoberfest goodness. This would also go brilliantly with some subtle, nutty hard cheese.

 

Brewdog Candy Kaiser with Steve's roast pork

The heavy toffee notes in this seasonal altbier from Brewdog make for a terrific pairing with pork. We tried to recreate the amazing roast pork our friend Steve made when he stayed with us recently - a top-quality joint from Flock & Herd with a heap of fennel and caramelised onions, and spiced apple sauce on the side. Ours wasn't quite up to his standards, but Steve is the roast king and we bow down to his greatness. Regardless, Candy Kaiser made for a fine match.

New stuff in store: 24 July

Here's your obligatory new stuff round-up for this week. Loads of beery goodness as always, plus Batch 2 of our famous HBB1 Hopped & Burning Hot Sauce - our fastest selling sauce ever! In addition, you;'ll find a heap of new records in our bins too. Right, to the beer...

  • Two new entries on the local front: first, the much-vaunted Deserter IPA, the unholy issue of the shirkaholic gadabouts of Deserter, South East London's finest blog, and Late Knights Brewery. Read about its birth here and grab one in store while you can. Second up, Coldharbour Courage from London Beer Lab - a guarana and honey ale brewed with the good folk at Brixton Buzz to raise money for Brixton Soup Kitchen. An honourable mention this week to the Kernel too, whose IPA brewed with Equinox hops is simply outstanding. 
  • From sunny Scotland comes a new one from Brewdog - Elvis Juice, a citrus IPA that is jammed to the hilt full of grapefruit and blood orange. If you like your citrus in massive doses or are simply in need of some Vitamin C, this is the beer for you.
  • Roosters High Tea IPA is the product of the Roosters lot palling up with beer writer Melissa Cole - a jasmine green tea IPA that brings together Admiral, Cascade, Crystal and Galaxy hops, jasmine flowers and Taylors’ Green Tea with Jasmine. You'll find it on the can shelves.
  • We add another Wild Beer to the shelves - the always popular Somerset Wild - and start panicking about where to put all the new Wild Beers that start arriving next week, which include the return of Shnoodlepip, the new gose Sleeping Lemons and The Blend 2015.
  • Finally, the US section gets a new recruit in the form of the legendary Yankee farmhouse ale, Boulevard Tank 7.  One of our American friend Mitch's all time favourite beers. This one's for you, sir!

PS - keep checking what's coming up on flagon-fill - loads of NZ kegs waiting to go on plus some amazing local goodness too...

New stuff in store: 28 May

As the UK's (the world's?) only craft beer and hot sauce shop, we've been looking forward to the British release of Rogue's Sriracha Hot Stout for ages. Brewed with Huy Fong, the best sriracha sauce on the planet (aka Rooster Sauce), it's pretty epic - and it's in store now. Buy it on its on or bundle it with Huy Fong's iconic sauce for super sriracha value at a very special price.

Other beery goodness this week includes a massive shipment of New Zealand beers with newbies from 8 Wired and Renaissance Brewing, as well as restocks of all your favourites from Yeastie Boys, Tuatara and Three Boys in bottle and on flagon-fill too.

We also finally welcome Left Hand Brewing to our shelves - their Milk Stout Nitro has to be tasted to be believed.

Brewdog's 'terminally hoppy' Born To Die IPA is in - but won't last long. Plus we've also got shedloads of Beavertown cans in, including but not limited to the brand new Power of the Voodoo Triple IPA and re-ups on Bloody Ell and Neck Oil.

In hot sauce news, to celebrate our six-month anniversary, we've launched our very own hopped hot sauce. HBB1 Hopped & Burning Hot Sauce has been created with UK hot sauce queen Miranda Pellew of Chilli Pepper Pete in Brighton, and is based on the Middle Eastern sauce zhoug. Rich and tangy, it brings together coriander, parsley, cumin and lemon juice with jalapeno and Thai chillies, plus an infusion of Summit hops from Peckham’s own Brick Brewery. It's amazing with Middle Eastern cuisine, mind-blowing with all things BBQ and goes pretty well with a beer too. On sale from Friday!

And join us on Saturday afternoon when we officially launch Whitey's Bad Boy Jerk Sauce in store. Whitey himself will be in session too, with tastings for all, though without his jerk drum this time (keep your ears peeled for a proper jerk session going down in the forecourt before the summer is out).