HB&B Blog

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 →


Wine & Food Killers: Confit Salmon with Citrus Herb Salad and Camillo Donati Malvasia Secco Pet Nat 2018

Claire Bullen Italy Natural wine Natural Wine Killers Sparkling wine

Wine & Food Killers: Confit Salmon with Citrus Herb Salad and Camillo Donati Malvasia Secco Pet Nat 2018

This Thanksgiving, I roasted a chicken instead of a turkey. I reduced the myriad sides down to two dishes – crunchy, golden roast potatoes and green beans with shallots and pistachios. In lieu of the classic dessert spread, I made one single pumpkin pie for the two of us, which we shared over the course of days. And I was much happier for it.  2020 is forcing us to celebrate our holidays differently, to downsize and to cut back. There is much to mourn in that, much painful loss to try to digest. But there's a small culinary upside in...

Read more →


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...

Read more →


Wine & Food Killers: Persian Fried Rice and Weingut Brand Wilder Satz 2019

Claire Bullen Germany Natural wine Natural Wine KiIllers

Wine & Food Killers: Persian Fried Rice and Weingut Brand  Wilder Satz 2019

I've been making a lot of fried rice during lockdown(s). I'm sure I'm not alone. It’s not just that fried rice is cheap, fast, flexible and made using basic pantry ingredients, it's also entirely comforting, can be eaten for any meal and does an admirable job of sopping up the prior night's beer. No fried rice I make is the same, but generally I'll add soy sauce and sesame oil, hot sauce and ginger, garlic and fish sauce; I might eat it with salmon or tofu or vegetables, or just on its own, satisfyingly spiced and glistening with oil. Despite...

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 →