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.