HB&B Blog — Fundamentals

Fundamentals #116 — Sureshot Bring Me The Head of John the Accountant Double IPA

DIPA Double IPA Fundamentals IPA Manchester Matthew Curtis Sureshot

Fundamentals #116 — Sureshot Bring Me The Head of  John the Accountant Double IPA

The term “nature is healing” has perhaps been a tad overused during the past couple of years – although the other week, a new brewery opened in Manchester, which after months of pub closures and pandemic anxiety genuinely felt like a return to something resembling normality. One I took great comfort in. Nestling into the railway arch on Sheffield Street, right behind Piccadilly Station and formerly occupied by Track Brew Co (which has moved just down the road to its spacious new home on Piccadilly trading estate) Sureshot Brewery already feels cemented in place; a key fixture in the thriving...

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Fundamentals #115 — Utopian Doppelbock Strong Lager

Dark Lager Devon Doppelbock Fundamentals Lager Matthew Curtis Utopian

Fundamentals #115 — Utopian Doppelbock Strong Lager

For the last few years, beer folks like myself – assorted writers, bloggers, podcasters and influencers, not to mention retailers like HB&B – have been trying to make lager happen. When craft beer came along (and by “craft beer”, I mean the most recent, post-2000s wave), some breweries were adamant that drinking lager meant you were a bad person. I won’t repeat some of the blurb churned out by these breweries during these times, but over the years I’ve come to realise that actually, this was inappropriate, and downright classist. Lager is great, all lagers are valid and, as a genre,...

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Fundamentals #114 – Howling Hops System Auto DDH Pale Ale

Fundamentals Howling Hops London Matthew Curtis Pale ale

Fundamentals #114 – Howling Hops System Auto DDH Pale Ale

One of the greatest things about relocating to the northwest of England has been the shift in perspective it’s given me.  As a former Londoner of 15 years, my time there shaped my view of the UK, and that includes its beer culture. It’s fair to say that being immersed in the explosion of London breweries that emerged over the past decade (increasing from just 10 to over 140 in that time) gave me plenty to be excited about. Dare I say it, I might have even been a little biased towards beer in the capital as a result. Living in...

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Fundamentals #113 – Fierce x New Zealand Beer Collective Hokey Pokey Stout

Fierce Beer Fundamentals Matthew Curtis New Zealand Stout

Fundamentals #113 – Fierce x New Zealand Beer Collective Hokey Pokey Stout

I’m someone you could describe as being highly Kiwi-adjacent. My partner of the past 13 years is a proud New Zealander, and HB&B supremos Jen and Glenn also hail from there, for whom I’ve been writing this beer column for almost seven years! This has given me a deep affection for Aotearoa New Zealand, and I’ve been lucky enough to spend quite a bit of time there. It is – as you might expect if you’ve ever tasted a beer made using NZ hops – home to a hugely exciting beer scene, particularly in its larger cities such as Auckland and...

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Fundamentals 112 - Alpha Delta Xevza Fresh Hopped Pale

Alpha Delta Fundamentals Matthew Curtis Newcastle Pale ale

Fundamentals 112 - Alpha Delta Xevza Fresh Hopped Pale

I awoke on New Year’s Day this year with a strange, slightly unfamiliar sensation in the pit of my stomach, one that took me a few moments to put my finger on. It wasn’t my hangover, I was fully aware of the distress that was bringing me, having decided to venture out the previous evening despite the chaos of the pandemic still swirling. (The right call, as it turned out, the company of close friends and excellent beer proving a real tonic after a miserable few months.) No, this was a positive feeling: optimism. Somehow, despite the relentless news cycle, it’s...

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