HB&B Blog — Matthew Curtis

Fundamentals #140 — Siren Crescendo 10th Anniversary Imperial Stout

Fundamentals Imperial Stout Matthew Curtis Siren Craft Brew Stout

Fundamentals #140 — Siren Crescendo 10th Anniversary  Imperial Stout

Eight and a half years ago, I attended an off-flavour beer tasting hosted by beer writer Melissa Cole. Melissa took us through everything from DMS to diacetyl, enhancing our beer knowledge by putting us through the ringer [mmmm, still remember that baby sick - Ed]. At the end of the tasting, a couple of Kiwis approached me and asked if I was the beer blogger Matthew Curtis. It turns out I was, and I was currently in a state of wondering if I should pack it all in and take this beer writing full time. The couple, Jen and Glenn, told me they were opening a bottle...

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Fundamentals #139 — Pressure Drop Cheese Volume 2 New England IPA

Fundamentals IPA London Matthew Curtis Pressure Drop

Fundamentals #139 — Pressure Drop Cheese Volume 2  New England IPA

When I started this column, I called it Fundamentals because I wanted it to focus on the key elements of beer and brewing. Initially, I wanted to look at the raw materials themselves, starting with the four key ingredients of water, hops, malted grains and yeast, before delving into adjuncts, from toasted coconut to tonka beans. But my concept of what I consider “fundamental” to modern brewing extends far beyond simply what goes into every keg, cask, bottle and can. The culture of beer itself and the elements that bind it together are also key to its existence. This is...

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Fundamentals #138 - Two Flints Sonic Muse West Coast IPA

Fundamentals IPA Matthew Curtis Two Flints West Coast IPA

Fundamentals #138 - Two Flints Sonic Muse West Coast IPA

Long time readers of this column will know that I have, for a long time, asserted the fact that the West Coast is indeed the best coast. The reason for this is because I love the taste of beer. I know this sounds like a gross generalisation (what is “beer flavoured”, anyway?), but please hear me out. For me, the two most glorious things you can find in a beer are the twin tenets of balance and drinkability. One cannot exist without the other: for a beer to be truly drinkable, its flavours must attain harmony, with no bum notes,...

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Fundamentals #137 - Elusive Brewing Brave Noise West Coast Pale Ale

Brave Noise Elusive Brewing maa Matthew Curtis Pale ale West Coast IPA

Fundamentals #137 - Elusive Brewing Brave Noise West Coast Pale Ale

It began with a simple question. When brewer Brienne Allan asked on her Instagram stories “Have you ever experienced sexism in the beer industry?”, responses, largely from women and non-binary folks, came in their thousands. It caused a shockwave that has been described as a “reckoning”, revealing a seedy underbelly of sexism and, in some of the worst cases, abuse that has been occurring in the beer industry all over the world. In the UK, diversity in the beer industry has improved over the past few years, albeit at a slower pace than it should. A new wave of craft breweries has...

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Fundamentals #136 — Track x Pellicle Always Trust the Optimist West Coast IPA

Fundamentals IPA Manchester Matthew Curtis Track Brewing Co West Coast IPA

Fundamentals #136 — Track x Pellicle Always Trust the Optimist West Coast IPA

Since I started writing about beer more than a decade ago, I’ve taken every opportunity to talk about the experience that showed me that beer was more than something you simply drink and enjoy. (Although, it’s also worth reminding yourself once in a while that it very much can – and should – be.) When I tasted Odell IPA for the first time in the brewery’s taproom in Fort Collins, Colorado, in 2010, it crystallised a positive feeling I’ve carried with me ever since. It’s this that keeps me enthralled with beer and its culture. But how do you carry...

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