HB&B Blog — Matthew Curtis

Fundamentals #109 – Brick x Hop Burns & Black HOP East Coast IPA

Brick Brewery Fundamentals IPA Matthew Curtis New England IPA SE London

Fundamentals #109 – Brick x Hop Burns & Black HOP East Coast IPA

Back in the early days of this column, the principle of each month’s feature was to focus on a single element within the brewing process, be it an ingredient or method, and expand on it. In a typically Hop Burns & Black fashion, that went out the window in favour of fun and whimsy. But for a one-off I’m going to try and reign that back in. Forgive me if I get a little sentimental over the next few paragraphs. (It is Christmas after all, and if you can’t do that now, then when can you?) Trust is one of...

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Fundamentals #108 – Drop Project x Tate Haze NEIPA

Drop Project Fundamentals IPA Matthew Curtis

Fundamentals #108 – Drop Project x Tate Haze NEIPA

Should craft beer be considered an artform? A lot of beer these days could perhaps be described as “artisanal”, and some breweries are so confident in what they make – and how they make it – that they also use the term to describe themselves. “Artisanal ales” does have a lovely ring to it, after all. For a small brewery, doing things the hard way, it makes sense to use the term. Like a lot of other small food industries including cheesemaking or baking, the process of mashing in grains, stewing hops and carefully managing fermentation is indeed artisanal. But when...

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Fundamentals #107 – Polly’s Floret Pale Ale

Fundamentals Matthew Curtis Pale ale Polly's Brew Co Wales

Fundamentals #107 – Polly’s Floret Pale Ale

Over the past couple of years I’ve become a little obsessed with the idea of legacy, and what it means to modern craft brewers. With the explosion of new breweries in the UK over the past decade or so (there are now more than 2,000), many of us have changed the way we enjoy beer; instead of sticking to a couple of beers we know and love, we chop and change like the tide. Hunting the latest delicious release for the gratifying feeling of both taking that first sip – and being the first to post a pic of it...

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Fundamentals #106 — Burnt Mill Polar Energy IPA

Burnt Mill Fundamentals IPA Matthew Curtis New England IPA Suffolk

Fundamentals #106 — Burnt Mill Polar Energy IPA

The New England IPA has been the source of much debate since it emerged from innovative breweries in the North-Eastern US over the past decade or so. Should beer really be this hazy? Is a beer with no discernible bitterness really an IPA? Does any of this matter if it’s delicious, and people enjoy it immensely? In answer to the latter: Absolutely not. The style has also been the subject of much technical debate within the brewing industry. Not only due to the way this style uses a significantly larger volume of hops that many styles have previously, but in...

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Fundamentals #105 - DEYA x Do Nothing Mud Pale Ale

Collab DEYA Fundamentals Matthew Curtis Pale ale

Fundamentals #105 - DEYA x Do Nothing Mud Pale Ale

Beer, as a beverage and as a culture, is forever changing. From the styles of the beers we drink, to the flavours they possess, and the places where we enjoy them; it’s a scene that’s forever adapting to the wants and needs of the people who enjoy it. But the people – by which I mean the demographic – who drink beer also changes too. At least that’s what we’re supposed to believe. Beer has, since the end of the start of the industrial revolution, and increasingly so following the onward march of capitalism after the Second World War, been framed...

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