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Hops and Glory: One Man's Search for the Beer That Built the British Empire Hardcover – 2009

4.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Macmillan (2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230706355
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230706354
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #986,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In the world or "beer" writing there is the late Michael Jackson aka the Beer Hunter, and then there is everyone else. Since Jackson's death in 2007, the dearth of talented writers on the subject of beer has been painfully felt. The truth of the matter is, good "drinks" writers are few and far between. Pete Brown has changed all that, and has set the bar to "Jacksonian" heights with his latest book Hops and Glory. This book is not only a tale about one of the most beloved and cherished beer styles, India Pale Ale (IPA) but a history lesson on 19th Century Burton on Trent brewing, the all powerful East India Company, the history of the Raj, and a personal odyssey.

Brown is a masterful story teller, and he weaves the history of his search for the beer that built the British Empire and love affair with beer into an adventure story anyone would enjoy reading, beer drinker or not. The meticulous research Brown puts into Hops and Glory is amazing. This is a powerful story. Brown put words into action in this book and the reader learns at his own personal expense. The fact that he actually convinced a Burton brewer to brew up an authentic IPA recipe from 1800's for him? The fact he takes said IPA from Burton on Trent via canal to London, and then on the sea voyage route to India the way it went in the days of the East India Company to the Raj? The fact that he just did not talk about it, speculate "what it must have been like" but he actually did it? One has to admire this, and the pay off the reader is you are along for the ride when you read Hops and Glory. Brown makes you live it, breath it, you are there with him.

No more tall tales or yarns here about India Pale Ale. The story of the history of IPA needed to be told, and what a way to tell it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a real treat - truly a hybid of sorts. The author did a splendid job at transitioning between his modern day journey, his knowledge of beer itself, and his own historical perspective on colonial India. Brown uses interesting vernacular and his sense of humor (especially the ability to laugh at himself) is evident throughout this read. I was giggling out loud on a few occasions. Furthermore, I even also found myself researching (Goggle Earth rocks!) destinations or items of interest mentioned in the story. I bought the book because of love everything IPA and the book clearly does a nice job of detailing that style - but I learned so much more...ships, port of calls, the East India Company, etc. I really enjoyed sitting down at night, drinking a good IPA (or two), and reading this, a story about it. This is the first Amazon item I've ever taken the time to review - that's how much I enjoyed this book. Great job, Mr. Brown!
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Format: Paperback
I should start by letting you know that I am a complete beer nerd. I'm a biochemistry professor and part of a brewing science program at our university and have been an avid homebrewer for over twenty years. I love craft beer and even more, I love learning about the history of beer. Thinking about my brewing forefathers stirs up deep, profound feelings of brotherhood whenever I brew up a 5 gallon batch. So, "Hops and Glory" by Pete Brown is definitely my kind of reading.

The story details Brown's adventures as he attempts to recreate the historic journey that gave India Pale Ale it's name. From replicating a historical batch of beer at the Museum Brewery in Burton-on-Trent, Brown recounts his journey by sea to India lugging along an uncooperative barrel of beer in an engaging, and humorous narrative. Every other chapter focuses on the history of India Pale Ale written in a highly readable and witty form. This dual coverage of both the travel account and the history works brilliantly. Much more than just outlining how India Pale Ale came to be, the historical chapters serve to give a great deal of insight into the authors motivation and the kind of person he is. Pete Brown is an excellent writer. Also, he's obviously a hopeless beer geek like me. He seems like someone I'd love to meet and have a few beers with. We would likely be fast friends if we lived in the same town.

I consider "Hops and Glory" a `must read' for all beer nerds, homebrewers and craft beer enthusiasts. Also, I would highly recommend it to those who enjoy travel writing. I am admittedly biased, but I would put "Hops and Glory" on the same list as other great travel books that I've enjoyed like Bill Bryson's "A Walk In The Woods". I'm very much looking forward to reading more from Pete Brown ... "Three Sheets To The Wind" is next on my list.

I raise my pint and toast you, Pete ... keep up the excellent beer writing. Cheers!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the best travel meets beer meets crazy British history books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Could not put it down. All craft beer enthusiasts must read it. Now if only I could sign up for a "Pete Brown IPA" boat tour to India my life would be complete.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
High seas adventure, history, and beer - what more could you want? This is my favorite Pete Brown book, well-written and entertaining. I recommend having a selection of IPAs on hand to accompany the prose.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If your into beer and enjoy a Pale Ale then this is a must read. Very entertaining read. Living in Burton on Trent for half my life (now in the states) and with a mother who worked for Bass I was glued to this book from start to finish. Highly recommend it.
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