Author of PILSNER: How the Beer of Kings Changed the World

PILSNER: How the Beer of Kings Changed the World


On the night of April 17, 1945, Allied planes dropped 111 bombs on the Burghers’ Brewery in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, destroying much of the birthplace of pilsner, the world’s most popular beer style and the best-selling alcoholic beverage of all time. Still, workers at the brewery would rally so they could have beer to toast their American, Canadian, and British liberators the following month.

It was another twist in pilsner’s remarkable story, one that started in a supernova of technological, political, and demographic shifts in the mid-1800s and that continues in the craft breweries of today. Tom Acitelli’s Pilsner: How the Beer of Kings Changed the World tells that story.

Pilsner shatters myths about pilsner’s very birth and about its immediate parentage. Acitelli, author of the craft beer history The Audacity of Hops and the James Beard finalist American Wine, also pops the top on new insights into the pilsner 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.

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 Best Seller Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue And Grilling

“Effervescent and informative … This chronicle will intoxicate both beer nerds and history buffs.”—Publishers Weekly

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

“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

“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 respect- ful treatment they deserve from an author regarded as one of beer’s great historians. As complex and satisfying as a helles lager, this informative and enjoyable book is one to help you appreciate where beer came from and is today.” —John Holl,  author of The American Craft Beer Cookbook and host of the “Drink Beer, Think Beer” podcast