HB&B Blog — Lager

Fundamentals #85 — Utopian Brewing Černé Speciální Dark Lager

Dark lager Devon Fundamentals Lager Matthew Curtis Utopian

Fundamentals #85 — Utopian Brewing Černé Speciální Dark Lager

As soon as lockdown is over I’m booking tickets to Prague and spending a couple of days absorbing as much světlý ležák as the Czech capital will allow. I’m fortunate in my life that I’ve been able to travel around much of Europe, but despite my love of travelling, I am an uneasy tourist. In all honesty, I’m a control freak, and being in an unfamiliar place leaves me at odds with myself, despite my inherent wanderlust. Prague, though, is different somehow. Although I’ve only been there a handful of times, it’s never taken me too long to settle in....

Read more →


Fundamentals #83 — Winkler Bräu Kupfer Spezial

Germany Lager Matthew Curtis Winkler

Fundamentals #83 — Winkler Bräu Kupfer Spezial

I hate surprises. More succinctly,  I hate being surprised. The nanoseconds of horror as your brain veers towards full panic while it quickly attempts to work out if these sudden, unexpected changes are to your benefit or detriment. I am a control freak, I like order and meticulously organised fun. This beer review is a short, rather dull story of how I accidentally played myself. When Jen from HB&B presented me with a list of interesting Franconian and Bavarian beers I’d never heard of, in a moment of haste I picked one with an odd name. Greif sounded tempting, I...

Read more →


The Beer Lover's Table: Braised Duck and Barley Stew with Braybrooke Beer Co Harvest Festbier

Beer Lover's Table Braybrooke Claire Bullen Lager

The Beer Lover's Table: Braised Duck and Barley Stew with Braybrooke Beer Co Harvest Festbier

I had a relatively mild case of COVID-19 in March and, after losing my sense of smell, I found it has returned mostly intact… barring one or two peculiarities. The first is that certain hop varieties – as well as passionfruit, Sauvignon Blanc and figs – taste less sweetly musky now and more like savoury spices and sweaty onions. The second is that alcohol and solvents smell to me like fresh bread, which makes the regular hand sanitiser ritual surprisingly appealing. It also makes malt-driven beer styles taste like manna from heaven. As a result, I've stopped drinking quite so...

Read more →


Fundamentals #78 – Vinohradský Pivovar 11 Czech Pilsner

Czech Republic Fundamentals Lager Matthew Curtis

Fundamentals #78 – Vinohradský Pivovar 11 Czech Pilsner

It is officially 'taps aff' weather. As I write this [in the August heatwave, but feel free to apply it to the current September one - Ed], London is experiencing the kind of damp, muggy heat that oppresses you into a state of near-helplessness. There is nothing you can do about it, and no reason, nor ability, to resist temptation. You must drink lager now, and hope and pray that a thunderstorm of biblical proportions will finally break this hot spell, allowing your brain and body to once again function within some semblance of their normal parameters. The good news...

Read more →


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...

Read more →