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Hops and Glory and Jeff and Smuggling

If you STILL haven’t read Hops and Glory (what is wrong with you?) and you don’t want to know what happens, look away now.

If you have read it, you’ll remember that Barry the Barrel exploded in Tenerife, and I found myself in Brazil with a serious problem – how to get a replacement, pressurised keg into Brazil so I could board my container ship with it.  In the end I had to ask friends for a volunteer to smuggle it in in their personal luggage.

The man who stepped forward was Jeff Pickthall.  Risking time in a Brazilian jail (perhaps) he brought me the keg and enjoyed a few days in Brazil, after a nailbiting race against time to get to me before I had to board my ship.

Some people have asked if I was perhaps laying on the drama a bit thick, exaggerating just how tight it was to make the story better.  Ask Jeff, and he’ll tell you that, if anything, I downplayed it.

Except now you don’t have to ask Jeff because finally, a mere three and a half years after that fateful day, he’s written his own account of his cameo in Hops and Glory.

It’s an epic.  And it’s right here:



Pete Brown

Yes it was, Rob – with hilarious results.

Basically after the mishap with the original cask we couldn't take any risks. A pressurised keg was the only wY if making absolutely sure the beer would get there.

Back in the day, about one in ten casks exploded en route to India. The fact that my first one did in no way reassured me about the odds of it not happening again…

Cooking Lager

It's a beautiful and inspirational story. Everywhere I go I transport a can of Carling with me, partly by way of homage. No hilarious results have occurred yet, but when they do I’ll write about it. I’m expecting the can to burst and the contents of my suitcase to smell of lager.


I just finished reading Hops and Glory (great read), and I don't recall you mentioning the magnum of IPA that Jeff brought with the keg. You look to be holding it in the photo Jeff has on his blog, but did you bring it on the Caribbean?


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