HB&B Blog — Fundamentals

Fundamentals #104 — Brevnovský Benedict 12º Czech Pale Lager

Brevnovsky Czech Republic Fundamentals Lager Matthew Curtis

Fundamentals #104 — Brevnovský Benedict 12º Czech Pale Lager

Something I struggle with is when people tell me they don’t like Czech lagers because they taste like diacetyl. For the uninitiated, diacetyl is a substance created by yeast during fermentation that, when a beer is conditioned correctly, the yeast will naturally “clean up”. When it’s present in beer it’s generally considered a fault and tastes a little like buttered popcorn. You may taste it in trace amounts in a cask beer that’s been on a little too long, or a beer that’s been contaminated during packaging. Around 3 in 10 people can’t actually taste it at all. Lucky sods....

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Fundamentals #103 — Newbarns Haná Helles Lager

Fundamentals Lager Matthew Curtis Newbarns Scotland

Fundamentals #103 — Newbarns Haná Helles Lager

I experienced a moment of immense disappointment the other weekend. I was in Leeds, and the day before I had (somewhat trepidatiously, due to the ongoing pandemic) enjoyed my first proper session at a beer festival in almost two years. In fact, you could argue I had what could be considered as too much of a good time, as the following day I was feeling a little worse for wear. This didn’t deter me however. Strolling back into town after a visit to the excellent Nomadic Brewery where I enjoyed a pint of its restorative Strider best bitter, I arrived at Brownhill & Co. This little...

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Fundamentals #101 — Rivington Brewing Co Never Known Fog Like It NE Pale

Fundamentals Matthew Curtis Pale ale Rivington Brew Co

Fundamentals #101 — Rivington Brewing Co Never Known Fog Like It NE Pale

Every so often a new pale ale arrives from a British brewery that I feel serves as a marker in terms of flavour, representing both of where we are now, and where we might be heading. Although it was more than 10 years ago now, I still remember my first taste of The Kernel’s Citra-hopped pale ale. Although I’d tried several of the voluminously-hopped US imports that inspired this beer’s creation, that first sip of Kernel Citra was a true game changer; a sense that a wholly more modern approach to brewing had arrived on British shores, and that we as drinkers were...

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Fundamentals #100 — Elusive x Rock Leopard Pining For Change West Coast IPA

Elusive Brewing Fundamentals IPA Matthew Curtis Rock Leopard West Coast IPA

Fundamentals #100 — Elusive x Rock Leopard Pining For Change West Coast IPA

I am a pub creature at heart. While I always keep plenty of beers that veer from the exceedingly interesting to the sublimely refreshing in my fridge, draught pints are what satisfy me most of all. What lockdown changed for me is that I now always like to keep a surplus of a reliable favourite in the house for those moments when there’s nowhere you’d rather be than curled up on your sofa, or sitting in the garden crushing a few tins. West Coast IPA being mostly my go-to style, in Elusive Brewing’s Oregon Trail I’ve found a fridge filler...

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Fundamentals #99 - Mountains Walking Tin Sky DDH DIPA

Double IPA Fundamentals Matthew Curtis Mountains Walking US

Fundamentals #99 - Mountains Walking Tin Sky DDH DIPA

I’ve been an admirer of beer for as long as I’ve been allowed to drink it. But my first trip to the US in July 2010 was what turned me into a true enthusiast, eventually pushing me into a career writing about the stuff. I talk about this often – that first taste, that epiphany, that crystalline moment – when I tasted Odell Brewing’s eponymously named IPA at their tasting room in Fort Collins, Colorado and everything changed. And that’s because this moment continues to be important to me, as is the enthusiasm it still generates within me to this day. The...

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