Hops and Glory

Thoughts hagbypb One Man’s Search for the Beer that Built the British Empire by Pete Brown, Macmillan 2009, 458 pages, tradeback

I like beer.

I like IPAs.

IPA  =  India Pale Ale

I have always explained to my friends that IPAs are a style of beer that the Brits developed to survive the trip to India so the boys there could enjoy their favorite beverage. You know, way back before refrigeration. When transport was on the Tall Ships.

Europa <– click here to book your adventure on this gorgeous vessel, the Europa….

I did not realize that we Americans and our craze for craft beer started the trend to brew IPAs once again, I just know that I like the hoppy robust REAL beer taste.

I am a big fan of almost all the Sam Adams’ IPAs, Loose Cannon, Harpoon, and the latest purchase of Boulevard’s Pop-Up Session IPA. (Boulevard is in Kansas City; I am a fan of many of Boulevard’s beer and am excited I can now buy it in Massachusetts.)

If it says IPA on the board and/or label, I will try it. I know a few I don’t like (looking at you Mayflower.) I adore both Cape Cod Beer’s IPA and Racecourse IPA from Goodfellows – both locally brewed.

Some of the fun of drinking craft beer is that you can’t get all the beers because of liquor laws and traveling distances required to maintain quality. Which means when I travel, I get to drink MORE BEER!

This book was a birthday gift from a dear friend. I read it on a Beer Festival trip to Philadelphia earlier this month. IMG_3077 (from Varga Bar – one of my favorites, had to get a shot of the ceiling…)

I had a good time.

Part of the reason I had a good time was because I enjoyed this book. It’s the tale of the author’s attempt to recreate the voyage of a keg of IPA on the same route from Burton on Trent to Calcutta.

And I rate this book FOUR slices of pie: British Meat Pie since I have a photo: IMG_1652 and this book is most definitely geared to a British sensibility. I think. Sadly, I didn’t keep track of all the terms/slang I didn’t know.


If you like IPAs and like history and enjoy a good travel/adventure book, this book shouldn’t disappoint.

I just wish it had more pictures…




Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

9 thoughts on “Hops and Glory

  1. I am one of Those People who selects beer (in stores anyway) based on how “cute” the label is. Pathetic or what? I make my husband drink the beer and then I save the bottles and put them out like knick knacks.

    1. The Boulevard Pop-up IPA label is cute, don’t you think? I don’t have any problem with your selection criteria for beer. There are plenty of pretty and interesting labels, for sure. And I guess the Hub doesn’t mind?

  2. I am fascinated by beers and their history. I am not a fan of IPA’s I find them bitter as I have learned over the past two years hanging with some friends who are real beer connoisseurs and have pushed me beyond my regular mich golden lite 🙂

  3. My husband loves IPAs too, but they’re too bitter for me. I’ve read several versions of where the name India Pale Ale came from. I think we need to read this book.

  4. This sounds like a fun read – especially if you’re reading it on the way to a beer festival!

Welcome! I invite you to comment. If for some reason commenting is troublesome, pls send email to BkClubCare [at] Gmail

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s