HB&B Blog — Matthew Curtis

Fundamentals #120 — Burnt Mill Get The Onyx West Coast IPA

Burnt Mill Fundamentals Matthew Curtis Suffolk West Coast IPA

Fundamentals #120 — Burnt Mill Get The Onyx West Coast IPA

Bitterness is one of the most enjoyable, and most crucial, elements in beer. In my opinion, anyway. When implemented correctly, bitterness sends a signal to your brain, telling you that what you’re drinking is refreshing, creating an impulse response motivating you to take another sip. If that bitterness is in perfect balance, then once your glass is empty, you’ll head to the bar and ask for another glass of whatever you just finished. It’s more powerful than any sales tactic or marketing scheme breweries can come up with. Brewers have known this for a long time, too. Bitter beer sells....

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Fundamentals #119 - Holy Goat Dragonaut Tropical Sour

Brett Fundamentals Holy Goat Matthew Curtis Scotland Sour

Fundamentals #119 - Holy Goat Dragonaut Tropical Sour

Serious question: where have all the brett beers been hiding? Time was, about six or seven years ago, that you couldn’t move for small breweries releasing their latest bretted beer (whether this was intentionally so is anyone’s guess). More recently though, it feels like the yeast strain has fallen out of vogue, giving up its dwindling share of the limelight to more fashionable cultures, such as kveik. But what exactly is brett – or brettanomyces, to use its full name? Well, the clue begins in the name, with “brettano” meaning British and “myces” meaning yeast. According to various online resources...

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Fundamentals #118 — Lambiek Fabriek Juicy & Wild Muscar-Elle

Belgium Lambic Lambiek Fabriek Matthew Curtis Sour

Fundamentals #118 — Lambiek Fabriek Juicy & Wild Muscar-Elle

I got myself in a spot of bother on Twitter recently. It’s something that admittedly happens with a certain regularity, due to my acerbic sense of humour, and the fact I often forget that when you post something on the internet devoid of context, a lot of people won’t get the joke. “Beer and food pairing is a lie,” I stated, when asked for my own “cancellable beer take”. My hope that this would get lost amid the general business of the viral thread was misplaced. I could almost hear the tut-tuts as people hurriedly typed out their replies informing...

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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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