Renaissance

New Zealand beers - we've got 'em...

So many of you have tweeted or emailed us asking for a list of the NZ beers that came in this week. Now that the hangovers from the NZ Beer Collective 1st anniversary party have cleared (or we're still drunk - the jury is out), we can finally type out the list. ;)

8 Wired Brewing:

  • Sour Side of The Moon - barrel-aged sour dark ale
  • Wild Feijoa Sour - ale brewed with feijoas and aged in wine barrels
  • Batch 2.18 - Oak-aged imperial stout fermented in open vats with dates, jaggery and vanilla beans
  • Tropidelic - hop-packed NZPA now on flagon fill
  • Super Dank IPA - the clue's in the name. Coming soon on flagon-fill.

Yeastie Boys:

  • I AM - totally awesome extra pale ale
  • PKB Remix Dark Matta - Pot Kettle Black with added Earl Grey 
  • Rex Attitude - peat-smoked strong golden ale
  • xeRRex - imperial Rex Attitude
  • Her Majesty 2014 - DIPA
  • His Majesty 2014 - triple stout porter
  • Her Majesty 2015 - blood red ale
  • His Majesty 2015 - red oat ale

Tuatara:

  • Black Mojo Espresso - limited edition unfiltered espresso coffee stout with Mojo Coffee
  • Black Chocolate Stout - limited edition unfiltered chocolate stout with the Wellington Chocolate Factory

Renaissance:

  • Collision Course IPA - India Pale Lager jam-packed with Citra, Mosaic & Nelson Sauvin
  • Craftsman Oatmeal Chocolate Stout - creamy as, and coming soon on flagon-fill...

Big Beery Advent Calendar - Beer 17: Renaissance Stonecutter Scotch Ale, 7% (New Zealand)

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.

Renaissance says:  "Multi award winning Stonecutter Scotch Ale is the big, hearty, ‘red wine’ of our range. The Scotch Ale style is believed to have originated in Edinburgh in the 18th century and is colloquially known as "wee heavy" due to its higher strength than its paler siblings. We use nine malts blended together to produce layers of caramel, toffee, liquorice, chocolate and roasty flavours. These layers are balanced by a tart, raisiny fruitiness that gradually gives way to give this dark beer a lingering dry finish. Rich, full bodied, warming and moreish."

We say: We could rave on about this beautiful beer for ages but beer writer Matthew Curtis pretty much summed it up in his recent blog for us. It's an ideal beer for these dreary days - pair it with a hearty stew or a roast for the ultimate comfort food.

Matthew Curtis's No More Heroes V – Renaissance Stonecutter

Last week we held our inaugural No More Heroes live tasting and it was a real hoot. We worked our way through some fantastic yet criminally underrated beers, some which we’ve already featured here, and raised more than £500 for Mind the mental health charity. In the end it wasn’t just about raising the money or flipping the bird at big beer, it was about the coming together of people in a great space and enjoying some great beers.

One of the surprises on the night came in the form of a scotch ale all the way from New Zealand. It would be criminal to host a beer tasting at Hop Burns & Black without ripping into some Kiwi beer and we felt that Marlborough’s Renaissance Brewing Company deserved to be put in the spotlight. Renaissance make some great beer but they’re often sidelined over here in favour of some of the louder, brasher New Zealand breweries. Their fresh hop beers such as Black the RIPA Black Rye IPA and Grandmaster Fresh Double IPA are up there with the very best examples of these styles.

At No More Heroes we turned our attention to Renaissance's flagship beer, Stonecutter, a scotch ale inspired by the dark, sweet beers that emerged from Edinburgh in the 18th century. Its blend of nine malts gives the beer a flavour reminiscent of the highland toffee bars you could buy for ten pence from the school tuck shop. There’s a raisin-like sweetness in there too and a hint of white pepper in the drying finish.

Of all the beers we tasted on the night, this one surprised people the most. Not because it was remarkably different but because our continued enthusiasm for hops has made us forget just how good a rich, malt-focused beer such as Stonecutter can be.

You can find more from beer writer Matthew Curtis at his excellent beer blog, Total Ales, and Good Beer Hunting, and on Twitter@totalcurtis. Thanks too to Claire Bullen for her great photography on the night (of which the below shot is one).

No More Heroes: drinking beer for mental health

Last night we got the chance to celebrate the craft beer world's underrated heroes with a fantastic event at ours hosted by beer writer Matthew Curtis of Total Ales.  

This event came about when both Matt and HB&B were approached by an agency offering us cash or a donation to a charity of our choice to tell them all we knew about craft beer. As it transpired, the agency was working for a multinational brewing corporation, so naturally we both said no - but we didn't want a charity to miss out on getting some much-needed funds, so No More Heroes: A Tutored Tasting of Beer's Great Unloved was born.

With 100% of the ticket sales going to the wonderful mental health charity Mind UK, as well as donations sourced via our JustGiving page, we've managed to raise more than £400 for Mind (much more than what the agency would have handed over!).

If you couldn't make it last night, here's the beer list you missed - wonderful beers matched with some of our favourite punk and post-punk tunes, and even some suggested spicy food matches to try out at home... Keep an eye out on Matt's blog too, where we're sure he'll do an even better round-up soon.

Augustiner Lagerbier Hell, 5.2%
Music Match: The Stranglers – No More Heroes
Spicy Food Match: Chicken Jalfrezi
To be fair, this isn't an unsung hero in our shop any more. We've turned so many people on to the joy of this classic Munich lager that it's always in our Top 10 best-selling beers. It's the lager or people who think they don't like lager. Clean, crisp, bready perfection, and a perfect partner for curry. Here's what Matt wrote about it for us in September.

Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro, 6&
Music Match: Modern English – I Melt With You
Spicy Food Match: Beef Chilli Con Carne
Possibly the best-loved beer of the night, judging by the number of takeaways sold afterwards. A beautiful milk stout that's so smooth and creamy as to be almost 'melty', says Matt - which is why he chose Modern English's killer tune to go alongside. A great match with chilli too - we'd drink it with AND throw it in the pot too.

Beavertown 8 Ball Rye IPA, 6.2%
Music Match: Magazine – Shot By Both Sides
Spicy Food Match: Pepperoni & Jalapeño Pizza
Matt says, "The fact that Gamma Ray and, to a lesser extent, Neck Oil, steals all of 8 Ball's limelight is criminal." Shot by both sides, you might say... "It might not have the in-your-face hop punch of its more popular cousin but it’s a wonderful beer all the same." We couldn't agree more. A Beavertown gem that deserves to be duly celebrated.

Boon Kriek Mariage Parfait, 8%
Music Match: The Runaways – Cherry Bomb
Spicy Food Match: Dark Chocolate with Chilli
A glorious sour from Belgium's much underrated Boon brewery (pronounced Burn apparently - who knew?). Here's Matt's marvellous account of discovering Belgian lambics and geuzes (and his visit to Boon) for Good Beer Hunting, Naturally we paired this with The Runaways. Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-CHERRY BOMB!

Renaissance Stone Cutter Scotch Ale, 7%
Music Match: Th’ Dudes, Bliss
Spicy Food Match: Steak & Cheese pie or a Pig & Hay scotch egg smothered in hot sauce
Renaissance is a terrific brewery from Marlborough, New Zealand, who don't tend to get the attention they deserve over here, overshadowed as they are by their more out-there NZ Beer Collective colleagues such as Yeastie Boys. However they're making some amazing brews, such as their fresh hop monsters Grandmaster Fresh Hop MPA and Black the RIPA. Stone Cutter is their flagship beer, a Scotch Ale that gets better and better with age. Matt recommends drinking it with that bastion of Kiwi cuisine, a steak and cheese pie. And we got to introduce London drinkers to the NZ beer-swilling student anthem that is Th' Dudes' Bliss!

New Belgium Le Terroir 2015
Music Match: Plastic Bertrand – Ca Plane Pour Moi
Spicy Food Match: Chicken Tinga Tacos
Going out with a bang, our final beer of the night had been muled back from the US by Matt himself. The latest in the Lips of Faith series, Le Terroir 2015 is a delectable sour dry-hopped with Galaxy hops from New Belgium, a brewery we've been dying to try for the longest time. Here's Matt's account of visiting New Belgium. We paired it with Belgian's finest musical export, Plastic Bertrand, mais oui!

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).

The Kiwis are coming

HBB_STORE 108.jpg

When we first started planning the beast that would become Hop Burns & Black (in March 2013, would you believe it - good things take time), we knew that we wanted to be specialists in New Zealand craft beer. Our firm belief is that the Kiwi craft beer scene is one of the most exciting on the planet - and that's not just because we were born there....

When we opened at the end of November, our single biggest order was for a mega-shipment of New Zealand beers from the mighty Yeastie Boys, Tuatara and Renaissance. You thirsty folk pretty much drank us dry on most of our lines by the end of January, so it was a relief to hear there was more on the way.

In great news for British beer fans, Yeastie Boys, Tuatara and Renaissance have joined together, with Three Boys and 8 Wired, to form the New Zealand Craft Beer Collective with the goal to bring the best of NZ beer to the UK. A new distribution network means we'll be seeing more NZ beers in more places more often. This is ALL GOOD.

In the meantime, we've nabbed an unholy amount of the Collective's first shipment and you can find it on our shelves, in our fridges and on #flagonfill. We aren't exaggerating when we say that some of these beers will rank among the best you've ever tasted. 

We're holding a tap takeover celebration from 5pm on Thursday 19th Feb, with four great NZ beers on #flagonfill and loads of free tasters, and our shelves and fridges are bursting with Kiwi booze,  

But while we've nabbed as much as we possibly can, we still have very small amounts of some lines, so you really don't want to snooze on this. Come on down and check out what might just be the UK's largest retail range of NZ craft beer - 30+ different beers and counting. And every single one of them rocks.