How the Beer of Kings Changed the World
By Tom Acitelli


304 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB, PDF, Mobipocket

Trade Paper, $19.99 (CA $26.99) (US $19.99)

ISBN 9781641601825

Rights: WOR

Chicago Review Press (Aug 2020)


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A book for both the beer geek and the foodie seeking a better understanding of modern food and drink
Pilsner tells the remarkable tale of the world’s most popular beer style. It begins with its humble birth in a far corner of the Austrian Empire in 1842, goes through its zenith and near death during Prohibition in the United States, and concludes with its present dominance worldwide. Pilsner was born during a remarkable mid-nineteenth-century epoch, and this first biography of the style places it in its historical context, where it intersected with revolutions in politics and technology, including the railroad, refrigeration, and germ science. The book shatters myths about pilsner’s very birth and about its immediate parentage, showing that it’s largely a German invention rather than a Czech one. Pilsner also pops the top on new insights into the style and into beer in general through a character-driven narrative that shows how pilsner influenced everything from modern-day advertising and marketing to today’s craft beer movement—which is driven by a reaction to pilsner’s dominance in the form of brands such as Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller Light, Heineken, and Snow (the world’s best-selling beer, a pilsner out of China).


“Serious beer aficionados will love this detailed history of their favorite quaff.”Booklist 

Pilsner, the book, is just like pilsner, my drink: bright, crisp, bubbly, fun, golden, and easy to knock back.” —Meathead, author of the New York Times bestseller Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling 

"It was so interesting to look at a huge breadth of world history through the lens of a very specific topic. Incredible to map out the impact of this particular beer style on the course of history, as well as history's impact on the beer's change over time." —Joanna, Goodreads  

"It was a fun travelogue through the history of beer, making the characters and beer itself alive with every turn of the page. Beer lovers will love reading this book." —Fred, Goodreads  ​

“Tom Acitelli tells the vibrant story of the world’s most beloved (and misunderstood) beer style. The characters, passions, and flavors of lagers and pilsners get the respectful treatment they deserve from an author regarded as one of beer’s great historians.” —John Holl, author of The American Craft Beer Cookbook and host of the Drink Beer, Think Beer podcast 

“Expertly crafted from deep knowledge and sharp insight, Pilsner: How the Beer of Kings Changed the World finishes light, refreshing, and deeply satisfying. It’s a lot like my favorite beer style, pilsner! Well done, Tom Acitelli.” —Bill Covaleski, founder and brewmaster, Victory Brewing Company 

“Acitelli’s confident, precise approach produces an entertaining narrative.” Kirkus Reviews 

“A surprisingly entertaining history.”—Atlanta Journal Constitution Online

Author Biography

Tom Acitelli is the author of The Audacity of HopsWhiskey Business, and American Wine. He was a 2016 James Beard Award finalist who has written about alcohol for the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and Bloomberg View, among many others.