HB&B Blog — Fundamentals

Fundamentals #76 — Donzoko Big Foam Rustic Lager

Donzoko Fundamentals Hartlepool Lager Matthew Curtis

Fundamentals #76 — Donzoko Big Foam Rustic Lager

Foam is unquestionably one of the most joyous parts of drinking beer. Most European nations already know this. Take the Dutch or the Belgians,­­­­­ for example: deftly serving up chalice after chalice laden with froth, before deftly whipping off the top with a swish of a knife. It’s elegance personified. In Germany and the Czech Republic, they know that all of the delicious flavour from noble hops is packed into a beer's head, so they make sure plenty of it is there for you to enjoy. The Czechs even take this to the extreme with the mlíko pour – a...

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Fundamentals #75 – Blaugies x Hill Farmstead La Vermontoise Saison

Blaugies Fundamentals Hill Farmstead Matthew Curtis Saison

Fundamentals #75 – Blaugies x Hill Farmstead La Vermontoise Saison

If you’re about to open a bottle of La Vermontoise, you have in your hands one of the most underrated beers of the modern era. Sure, it’s a 3.9 on Untappd and a solid 97% on RateBeer, but ask a beer lover what the defining saison of contemporary brewing is and they will almost universally say Saison Dupont. It’s impossible to downplay the significance of Dupont. This is especially true in the modern era, when the eagerness of beer writer Michael Jackson spurred a rush on Belgian imports in the US during the 1980s. It was Dupont that undoubtedly led...

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Fundamentals #74 — Double-Barrelled The Big Fruit Heist Fruited Kettle Sour

Double Barrelled Brewery Fundamentals Matthew Curtis Reading Sour

Fundamentals #74 — Double-Barrelled The Big Fruit Heist Fruited Kettle Sour

What’s in a name? For many producers of our favourite food and drink, from the winemakers of the French provinces to the cheese-makers of Italy, nomenclature is power. Try calling something you make Champagne (that isn’t) for example, and you’ll soon find yourself getting a politely worded letter from the Institut National de l’Origine et de la Qualité. Thanks to the appellation granted upon this particular genre of wine in 1927, designed to combat what its producers saw as fraud, only wines grown and produced in this region are allowed the designation. But this kind of appellation doesn’t really exist...

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Fundamentals #73 — The Beak Brewery Parade IPA

Fundamentals IPA Matthew Curtis Sussex The Beak Brewery

Fundamentals #73 —  The Beak Brewery Parade IPA

If the Beak Brewery isn’t on your radar yet then it should be, as it’s one of the most exciting breweries that will be opening its doors in 2020. Finally, some good news! I hear you cry. For regular readers of this column, that name may sound familiar, and that’s because I’ve reviewed Beak before, way back in July 2018. Back then owner Daniel Tapper was contract brewing to get his tasty beer out into the world, and that’s true in this case as well, as this beer was made by his friends at Burning Sky (you might have heard...

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Fundamentals #72 — FrauGruber Velvet Horizon Pale Ale

FrauGruber Brewing Fundamentals Germany Matthew Curtis Pale ale

Fundamentals #72 — FrauGruber Velvet Horizon Pale Ale

About a decade or so ago I was really into wheat beers for a brief time. I remember going on a business trip to Frankfurt during my previous career of musical instrument sales and tucking into glass after glass of Schöfferhofer after hours of walking the giant trade halls at the city’s Messe auditorium. There were only two choices in most places we went to anyway, lager or wheat beer, and with most of my colleagues drinking lager, the latter always felt like the most subversive thing to order. I never could resist being the odd one out. Back at...

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