Our New Ebook: Gambrinus Waltz

Detail from the cover of Gambrinus Waltz.

We’ve written a short book about lager beer in Victorian and Edwardian London which is now available to buy on the Amazon Kindle store.

Miss Vesta Tilley.It has 13,500 words including footnotes which would equate to about 60 pages if it was a paper book — one-fifth of the length of Brew Britannia, and eight or so times longer than one of our ‘long read’ blog posts.

At £2.06 from the UK store$3.27 in the US, and €2.68 in the Eurozone*, it’s a total bargain — that’s less than the price of a half of Guinness by our reckoning.

Here’s the blurb:

These days, lager is practically the British national drink, and it is easy to think that lager appeared out of nowhere in the 1970s because that is when it made its great breakthrough. In fact, lager first made serious inroads into Britain in the mid- to late 19th century, at the same time as it was sweeping the rest of the world to become the dominant global style. It was increasing antagonism towards Germany and the eventual outbreak of war in 1914 that arrested its progress, and kept Britain drinking ale for another 50 years. Gambrinus Waltz tells the story of how Londoners got their first taste for the beers of Munich, Vienna and Pilsen, in long-gone haunts where one could ‘drink the long glass of lager in the most approved Continental manner, and listen to the strains of an admirable band’.

It covers the emergence of lager as a recognisable product (Dreher, Sedlmayr and Groll); its arrival in London via Paris in the late 1860s; and through many painstakingly sourced details, evokes the atmosphere of German beer halls on the Strand (The Tivoli, the Vienna Beer Saloon) and Piccadilly (Ye Olde Gambrinus, Spaten) from the Victorian era until the beginning of World War I.

Token from the Gambrinus, London.

BONUS: Here’s a Spotify playlist we listened to while we were writing it and which should be an equally good accompaniment to reading it — lots of waltzes, music hall, and even the odd bit of street piano.

* The prices in various worldwide Amazon stores are pegged to the US one and might fluctuate.