The latest from (and on) beer, wine, and spirits writer Tom Acitelli



Whiskey Business: How Small-Batch Distillers Are Transforming American Spirits is out now! It is the first history of American craft spirits and it is already drawing a lot of praise:

“Over the past thirty years, the American palate has grown up. We’ve seen the rise of craft beers and an exploding market for fine wines. And now, we’re in the midst of a tremendous boom in craft distilling, as Americans are not content to accept the homogeneous offerings of the big, mainstream distilleries. There are wonderful spirits to enjoy and fascinating stories to be told; and Tom Acitelli is the one to guide us.” —Philip Greene, bestselling author of To Have and Have Another—A Hemingway Cocktail Companion and cofounder of the Museum of the American Cocktail

“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

American Wine: A Coming-of-Age Story (2015) was a finalist for the 2016 James Beard Award for Best Beverage Book.

“A vignette-driven book might have become a collection of anecdotes. While it would be hard to resist any narrative that includes a cast as diverse as Julia Child, Robert Mondavi, Cesar Chavez, and social media wine guru Gary Vaynerchuk, Acitelli is adept at connecting the dots. He revisits key events and underscores their implications.” -The Boston Globe

“[A]n engaging, anecdotal look at some of the characters and events that have led the United States to become the biggest consumer of wine in the world.” – Eric Asimov in The New York Times

“A tasty combination of commercial and culinary history reflecting the maturations of the wine business and Americans’ taste buds.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Tom Acitelli has written a first-of-its-kind, joyously readable, almost novelistic history of the rise of American wine.” —Edible Boston

“With Acitelli’s expert storytelling, we understand how America came to dominate the industry.” —The Wine Buzz

“American Wine is a glittering panorama of the colorful, visionary people who made appreciation of fine wine an everyday pleasure in America. It is thorough, accurate, and comprehensive but written with dramatic flair.” —Larry Stone, owner, Lingua Franca Wines, and wine director, Huneeus Vintners

“It wasn’t until the 1970s that our wine industry quit making ‘domestic’ wine and began making ‘American’ wine. In that decade a generation of talented young winemakers proved themselves to be world class. . . . It was a thrilling time to be a wine lover. Tom Acitelli’s new book captures American wine at the crossroads in stop-action wordography perfectly.” —Craig “Meathead” Goldwyn, former wine critic, Chicago Tribune, and founder, International Wine Review

“Tom Acitelli tells with both color and accuracy the wonderful story of American wine after World War II and how it became a giant among world wines. His focus on the sometimes crazy people behind it all makes the book a delight to read. . . . American Wine brings them alive in an easy style that is as refreshing as a Napa sparkling wine.” —George M. Taber, author of Judgment of Paris and To Cork or Not to Cork

The Audacity of Hops: The History of America’s Craft Beer Revolution (2013) was the first history of American craft beer and is now in its seventh printing.

“The Audacity of Hops chronicles the rich history of America’s craft brewing revolution with deft portraits of the resourceful pioneers, the innovative brewers, and the intrepid entrepreneurs who are changing the way the world thinks about beer.” -Steve Hindy, co-founder of Brooklyn Brewery and co-author of Beer School

“A new and excellent history of craft beers in America.” –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

“Rather than become mired in a minutiae of names and dates, Acitelli wisely frames his narrative as a discrete selection of entertaining vignettes that focus on key players and moments in America’s craft-beer revolution as representative of the larger movement. It’s an entertaining and informative read for anyone remotely interested in the history of American craft beer.” –The Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.) 

“Tom Acitelli has compiled an extensive collection of firsthand accounts from the pioneers, brewers and industry luminaries that have taken beer back from industrial giants. A book for the craft beer nerd who thinks he or she already knows the story, The Audacity of Hops is sure to provide new insight into craft beer’s explosive popularity.” -The Los Angeles Times

“This is the story of how the ‘Kingdom of Beer’ was returned to the drinker. It’s about the nurturing of the beer epiphany in a time when word of a revolution in the making was passed on one glass of brew at a time. The Audacity of Hops is an absorbing reflection on what goes into every professional craft-brewed beer in America. Impassioned millions have taken the kingdom back.” —Charlie Papazian, founder of the American Homebrewers Association and author of The Complete Joy of Homebrewing 

“Everyone who cares about good beer owes Tom Acitelli a huge thanks: his history of American craft beer is lively, substantive, and thoughtful.” —Maureen Ogle, author of Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer

“Excellent history of the American craft brewing movement.” —Slate

“Mr. Acitelli’s exhaustive chronicle of the American beer revolution … lovingly told.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Highly quaffable and enjoyable. You can crack open a section or two, pore over it for an hour or so, and familiarize yourself with the moments and luminaries who contributed heavily to the American brewing renaissance. Heady stuff.” —Sam Calagione, president and founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and author of Brewing Up a Business

“[Tom Acitelli]’s thorough research into the craft beer revolution tells a great story and shows how a ragtag yet purposeful group of passionate individuals can build an industry. He did an amazing job capturing the characters, improbable tales, and astounding passion that make up the craft brewing community.”  —Ken Grossman, founder, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

“A lot of beer books come across my desk, but few are as thorough, well-researched and approachable as The Audacity of Hops. Author Tom Acitelli takes a reporter’s approach to telling the story of the rise of craft beer in America.”—Evan S. Benn, Esquire magazine beer columnist

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