Later tonight, I’ll be hoisting a beer at the local Taco Mac in honor of Michael Jackson. Jackson passed away four years today, and I like to remember him each year around this time. You might do well to do the same if you’re a fan of craft beer, simply because no one had more to do with the craft beer renaissance than MJ. That’s not to say that craft beer would not have come back from the brink of extinction without him; I think it certainly would have. It would have taken a lot longer, though, and many might have missed it entirely.
I first heard of the Beerhunter in 1989 when Discovery Channel broadcast a mini-series of the same name here in the US. I met him for the first time in 1996 in Orange, CT at a beer dinner. Even today I look to his many books and columns on beer as an inspiration, and still go back to them frequently. If you’ve never read Jackson, you’re in for a treat for sure. Even if you haven’t, though, think of him the next time you have a pint of great beer. In many ways, you have Michael Jackson to thank for what you’re drinking.