I came across this post about the “Five Best Craft Beers” on a website called The Manual. It reminded me of a post I did over nine years ago, “Beer Books on Amazon“. In 2009, Charles Papazian’s classic, The Joy of Homebrewing was no. 3 on Amazon’s list of “The most popular items in Beer”. It is one of the five books The Manual thinks you should have on your book shelf.
Michael Jackson’s opinion on the best beer in the world, Ultimate Beer was number 23. The Manual chose another Michael Jackson book, Michael Jackson’s Beer Companion.
I decided to look at today’s listing on Amazon to see what has changed in nine years. The number one listing is the Kindle edition of Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser Busch by William Knoedelseder. The sale of Anheuser Busch to InBev was a pivotal event for the brewing industry and it is great that someone wrote a book about it. I would like to read it when I get a chance.
Today on Amazon’s list of books about beer, Papazian is no. 72 and Michael Jackson’s Companion is no. 408. That book is 25 years old which probably accounts for it’s lower listing. Michael Jackson, however, remains an authoritative source on all things related to liquor and drinking.
In 2009 the paperback of Brewing Battles was no. 84 and today it is at 1264. Oh well, it has been in print for 11 years.
In my post from 2009, I said I would, at some point, look and see if Amazon had any listing for temperance books. It turns out they don’t have a separate category for that and in the Social Sciences list, I didn’t find any books about temperance or prohibition. The takeaway is that Amazon lists reflect sales and popular interest not scholarly concerns.