Ray Bailey and Jessica Boak, Gambrinus Waltz: German Lager Beer in Victorian and Edwardian London (Kindle, 2014). 61 pages.

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’.

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