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on 15 June 2017
Funny and informative, written in the Pete Brown fashion, if you like to read a book as if someone's talking to you, with relevant side stories, then you'll enjoy this.
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on 24 August 2017
A great piece of beer history
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on 29 June 2010
This is several books in one - a travelogue, a history of the East India Company, and a book about beer. The author manages to combine all of this in a witty, sometime laugh out load, and thought provoking read. Wonderfully written this is a book that's easy not to put down.
Pete Brown manages to make the history of IPA interesting, brings to life a number of historical characters, and animates his travels wonderfully. Full of humour, pathos, and life, this is a cracking read.
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on 2 February 2011
I absolutely loved this book, Pete Burns dry wit and flowing writing style combine to make it a pacy, informative read which held my attention needing very little effort on my part. Burns swaps between two storylines, one of the history of India Pale Ale, the other of his journey to recreate it and deliver it to India, to a largely successful end. At one point near the middle of the book I thought it flip-flopped between the two a little too repetitively, but having re-read I think that it had to be that way to keep the two narratives flowing. I reccomend this book not only to beer connoisseurs, all of whom should read it, but also to anyone looking for an engaging book to take on holiday or to brighten up a dull commute as I did.
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on 20 March 2017
Get to know Pete Brown. I've read two or three of his books. I've enjoyed them all including this one. Probably the least engaging in terms of its history digging, but more revealing. about the man. Some characteristics have been sensed before. Massive social chip, tight with money, begrudges friendships that might last beyond this visit to the bar.

Now he truly exposes himself. Inept in terms of planning, logistics or professionalism. A freeloader extraordinaire. Totally undaunted by his own mediocrity and repeated gaffs. Physically past it and alcohol dependant. Painstakingly precious about his whimsical world view.
If it makes it to the screen I suggest that Pete is portrayed by a Terry Scott - Rowan Atkinson cross.

An under achiever, obsessed with beer, so similar one imagines to his readership. Sadly for me it was like picking up a mirror.
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on 19 October 2010
As a real ale drinker with a penchant for strong, hoppy IPAs, this was, admittedly, right up my street - and that of my son, who'll be getting it for Xmas! I'd heard of Pete Brown via CAMRA membership, but this was the first book I've read, and I'm sure I'll move on to the others. Even in the more boring sections of his voyage he manages to hold the reader's interest as he attempts to take a specially-brewed barrel of IPA from the UK to India, largely by sea. The text is aided by the unusual use of frequent footnotes. "Some strong language", as they say, but never gratuitous; the combination of historical research, pathos & humour is a winner.
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on 15 June 2009
This book is many things:

A great travel book which makes you want to visit to places you never considered before. Like Santos, or Burton...
A well researched entertaining history of that most famous of beers, India Pale Ale.
A mind numbing description of the atrocities and excesses of the "Honorable" East India Company whose antics should make any British person deeply ashamed.
A very very laugh-out-loud funny book.

A great read, buy it.
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on 28 July 2013
If you like beer and/or travel then you will probably enjoy this book but it is definitely more for the former than the latter although the trip from the UK to Brazil via Madeira is a pretty decent bit of travelogue. In short, the author commissions an age old beer recipe all but lost to today's beer drinkers (except in name only) and travels with the resultant keg from UK to Kolkata to see how the beer conditions itself during the four month journey.

The book alternates travel chapters with chapters on the history of IPA & the East India Company but I felt the history passages were overlong and interrupted the narrative flow of the travelogue - this could have been simply resolved by making them significantly shorter, 80-100 of the 450 pages could have been edited out without much loss (the history of IPA is interesting in itself but not worth 200 pages or so).

Getting to page 400 with all the historic diversions was not too onerous in the end but I found my interest waning so it was doubly disappointing that nothing really happened at the end with the India part of the trip confined to just a few dull pages. This is a real shame as India is such a fascinating country that stories just create themselves, especially if you're travelling with a 40 pint keg. Dear Reader, I don't think it's a plot spoiler to say he drinks the beer; unfortunately there's little more that happens.

So, mostly a downbeat review due to the abrupt ending and overlong history chapters. However, good in patches especially the first half.
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on 1 March 2013
Pete Brown is in love with beer - particularly India Pale Ale - and this book tells the (often fascinating) story of its history and his quest to revisit its historical journey from Burton on Trent to India. A mixture of traveller`s tale, anecdote and history, this is a thoroughly enjoyable book that doesn`t require you to have a large beard, bad hair and a recondite knowledge of real ales. Funny, knowledgable and insightful. Recommended.
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on 11 January 2012
This book Hops and Glory: One man's search for the beer that built the British Empire is a superb and light-hearted history which takes you on the journey that beer had to take to slake the thirst of the colonisers in the British Empire. Pete Brown [the author] is at his best and I had difficulty in puting the book down when I started reading it. A 'must' for Beer Lovers
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