As BsBB pointed out in a comment on the last post I have now finished this book, and it's brilliant, insightful, interesting, well-researched and just damn fascinating.
It's not just one for beer enthusiasts either, I would recommend it to anyone with a passing interest in sailing, history, the Empire, human nature or comedy because it's got strong components of all those things.
I wasn't originally going to update because I was embarassed to find myself mentioned in it and I didn't want people to think that I'd been shamelessly plugging it to big up my one line of infamy! But BsBB's minorly chastising comment has prodded me to do so. Enjoy!