Friday 6 April 2012

Book Review - Hops and Glory

IPA is perhaps my favorite style of beer. No, of all the beer styles I enjoy, IPA is the king. So when I first saw Hops and Glory for my Kobo, I knew it would be mine.

There are many versions of IPA these days, IPAs, double IPAs and American IPAs but what about the original IPA? Author Pete Brown, named Beer Writer of the Year in 2009, wondered that too and took on, as the title on the book claims "One man's search for the beer that built the British Empire!"

For the first time in 140 years, a keg of Burton IPA has been brewed with the original recipe for a voyage to India by canal and tall ship, around the Cape of Good Hope; and the man carrying it is the award-winning Pete Brown, Britain's best beer write. Brazilian pirates and Iranian customs officials lie ahead, but will he even make it that far, have fallen in the canal just a few miles out of Burton? And if Pete does make it to the other side of the world with 'Barry' the barrel, one question remains: what will the real IPA taste like? Weaving first-class travel writing with assured comedy, Hops and Glory is both a rollicking, raucous history of the Raj and a wonderfully entertaining, groundbreaking experiment to recreate the finest beer ever produced.

The book is a fun read with very few flat spots. One chapter Pete Brown describes what he is doing in the present, be it brewing the original recipe or sailing a tall ship, the next chapter tells part of the story of the history of the IPA. Although most people know Indian Pale Ale (IPA) was brewed to survive the trip to India to quench the thirst of the troops there, but it's history had never really been told.

Both stories lines are entertaining. Pete Brown writes with a great sense of humour. Hops and Glory is part adventure, part travel log and part history. It is one of those books you hate to see end. I thoroughly enjoyed it! Can't wait to read my next Pete Brown book.

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