HB&B Blog — IPA

The Beer Lover's Table: Taiwanese-Style Popcorn Chicken and Abyss Brewing Zen Level II New England IPA

ABYSS Brewing Beer Lover's Table Claire Bullen IPA

The Beer Lover's Table: Taiwanese-Style Popcorn Chicken and Abyss Brewing Zen Level II New England IPA

I was not raised in a deep-frying household. My parents are generally health-conscious, and by  nature suspicious of any amount of oil that would approach a “vat”. It was to my great surprise, then, when I discovered in recent years that I have an affinity – maybe even a knack – for frying. It started small: shallow-fried goujons, mozzarella sticks. Then I got bolder: deep-fried jackfruit. Deep-fried Mars Bars. Whole chicken thighs; fish for tacos. Even deep-fried mince pies. As much as the thought of a big pot of screaming-hot oil might be intimidating, watching items bubble up and dance as they...

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Fundamentals #91 - Villages Big Salad New England IPA

Deptford IPA Matthew Curtis SE London Villages

Fundamentals #91 - Villages Big Salad New England IPA

I miss brewery taprooms. I might be a pub creature at heart – someone that longs for a warm, dimly lit space, perhaps sat bellied up to the bar on a high stool, or tucked away in a quiet booth, shielded from the bustle of daily life. But taprooms have a special quality too. They aren’t pubs, but they are just as wonderful at bringing us together. Drinking this new IPA, Big Salad, from Villages, in Deptford, South London, instantly transported me back to the brewery’s own taproom. Like so many in London, it’s nestled underneath a railway arch. It’s...

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Fundamentals #88 — St Mars of the Desert Old School Quality West Coast IPA

Fundamentals IPA Matthew Curtis Sheffield St Mars of the Desert

Fundamentals #88 — St Mars of the Desert Old School Quality West Coast IPA

If you’re really into beer and Online All The Time like I am, you’ll be aware that we’re now at the stage of the current West Coast IPA discourse where people are now complaining about the West Coast IPA discourse. If you’re not, let me explain it to you: People really missed West Coast IPAs (by which I mean dry, bitter, malty, citrusy, crystal-clear delights in the 7%-ish region) and said so. Brewers then started making them again with aplomb, and now when someone says that they miss West Coast IPA, you can’t bet your bottom dollar someone will come along...

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Fundamentals #84 — Ora Brewing Limoncello Lemon IPA

Fundamentals IPA Matthew Curtis ORA Brewing

Fundamentals #84 — Ora Brewing Limoncello Lemon IPA

“What’s that?” My partner Dianne is slumped on the sofa after getting home from work, and I’m meandering through our living room, glass of beer in one hand, artfully decorated bright yellow can in the other. “It’s from Ora Brewing, I’m reviewing it for HB&B,” I answer. “Oh, not that lemon one, I hope,” she replies. “I don’t like that at all.” I smile to myself and hand her the glass. “Take a sip and make sure,” I say. Somewhat begrudgingly, she takes the glass from my outstretched hand and goes in for a taste. I notice her eyes widen...

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Fundamentals #77 - Elusive Brewing Oregon Trail West Coast IPA

Elusive Brewing Fundamentals IPA Matthew Curtis West Coast IPA

Fundamentals #77 - Elusive Brewing Oregon Trail West Coast IPA

Over the course of my various travels to the USA, I’ve been fortunate enough to visit parts of the famed Oregon Trail. The 2,170-mile route once connected various towns along the Missouri River to Oregon's Willamette Valley during the 19th century and was used by colonialists seeking fertile land. It looks a little different these days, and traversing it is certainly less arduous, with lots more taco trucks and the occasional branch of Bed, Bath and Beyond lining the roads it once occupied. Still, it’s no less fascinating. I’ve also played the 1971 video game that is designed to simulate the...

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