Pub Talk

Ode to Michael Jackson

No, not that Michael Jackson. The famous beer critic, Michael Jackson. Today is his birthday and while the beer world mourned his loss on Aug.30 2007, we honour the incredible impact and contributions he made. This industry would not have been the same without him.

Ode to Michael Jackson

Michael-Jacksons

Michael Jackson’s Impact

Michael Jackson aka the Beer Hunter was born in England on March 27 1942. He is largely credited with starting a worldwide beer renaissance which included an awareness of different beer styles. He also brought Belgian beers to the world stage. His 16 books on both beer and whisky have sold over 3 million copies and have been translated into 18 different languages. His popular show, The Beer Hunter, aired in 15 countries and he was the subject of a movie documentary.

 

His Talent

This clip from the Conan O’Brien Show when he was plugging his last and final book Great Beers of Belgium really shows his wonderful sense of humour and talent for choosing interesting and unique beers, but you can also see he was suffering from symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Eventually he had to announce it publicly because people thought he was showing up drunk (as you can see in the interview).

 

His Legacy

The best way to honour him on his birthday would be to have him introduce himself to you the way he did on his website when it first went up in 1998. Passing on his knowledge and legacy is a great way to create a whole new generation of fans. Go check out his books, site or show. You won’t regret it.

“Hello, my name is Michael Jackson. No, not that Michael Jackson, but I am on a world tour. My tour is in pursuit of exceptional beer. That’s why they call me the Beer Hunter.

“I’ve learned a lot since my World Guide to Beer was published in 1977 and since public television first aired the Beer Hunter series. I’m here to share some of that knowledge with you, to tell you stories about breweries, to teach you about tasting beer and to help you understand what it means to be part of a beer culture.

I want you to think about every beer you put to your lips. Very often I’m just walking along . . . and somebody wants to stop and shake hands and say ‘Hi, you introduced me to that really strange Belgian beer and my life’s never been the same since.’ Maybe the next time it will be you.”

Happy Birthday Michael Jackson!

 

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