Whiskey Business

Whiskey Business
Whiskey Business

Whiskey Business

How Small-Batch Distillers Are Transforming American Spirits
By Tom Acitelli


352 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper, Mobipocket, PDF, EPUB

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

ISBN 9781613734582

Rights: US, CA & MX

Chicago Review Press (Jun 2017)


eBook Editions Available

Will it work on my eReader?
Price: $19.99
Google Preview
Media Copy


Discover the underdog story of the improbable rise of small-batch distilling in America. This bracingly written, fast-paced work traces the relationship of Americans to spirits such as bourbon, scotch, vodka, gin, and rum. And it presents the full story of a plucky band of entrepreneurs who disrupted the nation’s conception of how those libations could appear and taste—and how much they could cost. Acitelli weaves the unlikely triumph of the small-batch distilling movement into other major trends, including a neo-Prohibitionism that nearly croaked the entire thing, America’s re-embrace of cocktails, and the twin rises of craft beer and fine wine. He also expertly delves into the controversies currently wracking American spirits, ones that threaten to tank the movement at the moment of what should be its greatest triumph.


“We’re in the midst of a renaissance in what we eat and drink. . . . This did not just happen; credit can be traced to a handful of courageous individuals. Tom Acitelli’s excellent new book offers a thoroughly researched, well-written, and absolutely compelling look into the pioneers behind this renaissance, and is a must-read for anyone interested in good food and drink—particularly whiskey.” —Philip Greene, bestselling author of To Have and Have Another and The Manhattan

“Tom Acitelli cuts through the myths and outright falsehoods about craft distilling with a compelling, comprehensive account of the industry’s earliest days, and its eventual emergence as a revolutionary force in America’s changing culinary tastes.” —Clay Risen, author of American Whiskey, Bourbon & Rye

“Tom Acitelli takes a close look at the genealogy of the modern American liquor cabinet and finds a remarkable saga of how a few people with big ideas changed the way we drink. It’s a grand tale, full of dogged reporting and colorful detail. Warning: this book will make you very, very thirsty.” —Wayne Curtis, author of And a Bottle of Rum

Whiskey Business is the rare text that delves into the minutiae of the spirits business without getting too ‘inside baseball.’ . . . Instead, Acitelli illuminates the most fascinating aspect of the business: the people who create the spirits. Meticulously researched, Whiskey Business is an educational and entertaining book that should satisfy both the academic and casual interests of readers and whiskey fans.” —Chris Chamberlain, author of The Southern Foodie

“As Whiskey Business clearly demonstrates, the revolution was and continues to be driven by the courage and tenacity of individual entrepreneurs who bet the farm on ideas that seemed ahead of their time. Tom’s book is the story of these individuals who, through vision and sheer determination, revolutionized the spirits industry and returned independent, authentically small-batch distilling to its rightful place in American culture.” —Thomas Mooney, CEO, House Spirits Distillery

"This makes for an ambitious and far-ranging book, packed with details. VERDICT While the details sometimes get away from the author, this breezy volume provides a solid introduction to the beverage industry." —Library Journal

Author Biography

Tom Acitelli, a 2016 James Beard Award finalist who has written about alcohol for the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and Bloomberg View, has written the acclaimed histories of beer and wine, Audacity of Hops and American Wine.