- 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: #2,164,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hops and Glory: One Man's Search for the Beer That Built the British Empire Hardcover – 2009
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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. There are some bumps along the way, and why this book is so awesome is, its not just about the beer and its history, but the reader is living the adventure with Brown. We get the good, the bad, the ugly.
Hops and Glory is a history lesson, travel guide, and adventure story all rolled into one. I literally could not put this book down. It is an enjoyable, informative read, and I'm still amazed that Brown actually made the journey that many have talked about, turn into reality. A journey that will most likely never be repeated by anyone. This is "beer" writing at its very best.
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!