I have always believed that people form beer, with infuence from many angles. But, those that influence from the ground with their efforts, with their gifts, are few and far between.
Beer is a tough world, to find ones own niche and nail is a tough ask. Many aspire to be brewers, some running their own establishments, a very odd few find bringing in and shipping beer all over Europe a pleasure, and then there are those that write about it.
Everyday I read of the demise of Print Media, doom and gloom in black and white. Then I turn on twitter discovering a beer blog. Media, whilst not my chosen subject, Magnus, is a very fast changing platform, but wonderfully accessible now. I see no difference between the merits or “weight” of a writer, be they in paper or e-media. Wake up and smell the hops.
Smelling the hops, now there is a subject close to my heart; Everytime I head to California I am bombarded by the latest HopBomb, labeled “IPA”. This is a British quality, India Pale Ale, the pale, amber and gold hues, born of Burton and shipped to our history, unfortunately oft discovered as a wet brown number from BStE. This was a shame how we allowed something that was such a celebrated style of beer, such a marker within both British and Beer History to become the corner stone of an empire. But, one person has reinvigorated, instigated the rebirth or just plain old shined a light on the dark corner of our brewing and beer history, bringing vim and vigour to our iconic brew. A full blown voyage of discovery, oceans, pirates and prostitutes all form part of a modern day grand tour, intertwined with the amazing historical reference. This modern day renovation, I am sure, brought the opportunity for brewers beyond the realms of Burton to investigate the style themselves, Brewdog with their Atlantic, Triple Rock/Saints&Sinners with their English IPA, Thornbridge with their Seaforth and The Crown Brewery with their IPA. This was all achieved through the book, “Hops and Glory” – a book that even inspired me to head back to Burton and go see what it was like… (you can read here).
My cherished signed copy is currently sitting in Oakland, California with a great friend and brewer. I know it will be thumbed through, stiring his mental juices toward this style of beer, it’s already prompted one of the IPA’s above and I hope more. This is the measure of a great text, how far it influences, and on what levels. He’s not given those that brew a recipe book, more a feeling, an indication as to what the mindset, the demands where upon the comercial and logistical aspects of the beer.
There are few that have maintained a quality feel about everything that they do. This chap has an invigorating and visceral blog, written with rib pain humour, railing against the Daily Mail and then gone on to write what what many people think is the beer book of the year. I will even go as far as to say that it’s more than that, it’s probably one of the best beer books or travel books that has been written.
Awarded by the British Guild of Beer Writers for something, for allowing beer lead him astray and have a good excuse for it and putting up with me stalking him all year, our beer person of the year…
Nice work Pete!
(it should be is Mrs Pete Brown for putting up with Mr Pete Brown.)