Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Michael Jackson tribute toast in Brooklyn

Patrons at Barcade join in the national toast to the Beer Hunter.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Michael Jackson toast at the Toronado

Tom Dalldorf of Celebrator Beer News leads a toast to the life of Michael Jackson at the Toronado in San Francisco.

Feel free to embed this video at your own site, to point us to others or to submit video or photos. Questions? Drop us an e-mail or add a comment.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Send us your Toast photos, videos

We plan to document the National Toast to the Beer Hunter here with both videos and photos. We need your help.

Take a camera with you to whatever Toast you will be attending (or hosting). Capture the moment. We'll soon post information here about how to add your photos and videos to the archive.

We'd really like to have thousands of faces of people who knew Michael, whether personally and on a first name basis, from hearing him speak or simply reading his books and articles.

Here are some of the questions you might ask:

- When did you first meet the Beer Hunter and what do you remember about the meeting?
- What's you're favorite Michael Jackson story? (Involving you or not)
- What's the best question you heard him ask?
- What's the best advice you heard him give?
- How did he change what you do or how you think?
- How would you describe him in one word?

Finally: What beer will/did you drink in his honor?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Join the National Toast Sept. 30

Plans for A National Toast to the memory of Michael Jackson have been finalized.

Download the poster: The 8x11 pdf; The 11x17 pdf.

Add your event: a) Add it to Upcoming with a "MJBeerHunter" tag (see the list on the right). b) Send it via e-mail and we'll add it. c) Add it as a comment below (and we'll add it to the master list).

Download a banner: Grab one of these banners to promote the Toast at your website.

Publish the list of participants: The download page also has the code to add the list of participants to your website or blog.

Here is the message going out to establishments that wish to participate:

"At 9:00 pm EST on Sunday, September 30, beer drinkers across the continent will raise a glass to the memory of the man who did more than anyone to further the cause of good beer, the one and only Beer Hunter, Michael Jackson. And your establishment can play a part!

"Participation is simple. Just download a copy of the official poster and print out as many as you want, adding in the details of your particular event. It could be a single toast, an all-night celebration or a more organized remembrance. Then decide how you'd like to contribute to the National Parkinson Foundation, whether “passing the hat” for donations, contributing all or a portion of the night’s revenue or selling a single keg for the charity.

"When your donation is ready, send your check to the National Parkinson Foundation or to the National Parkinson Foundation Attn: Kay Houghton.

"As long as they say "Tribute to Michael Jackson" in the memo line, they will all be attributed to this event. The address is 1501 N.W. 9th Avenue / Bob Hope Road, Miami, Florida 33136-1494. Canadian participants are advised that the NPF also operates 5 Centers of Excellence in Canada and does issue tax receipts for all contributions, including those from Canada.

"A ceremonial contribution on behalf of all the participating bars, restaurants and brewpubs will be made at the Great American Beer Festival on Saturday, October 13. See for GABF information and tickets."

If you are a consumer, let your local know about this event and to stock some extra large hats for Sept. 30.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Michael Jackson's Last Interview

Dan Shelton Interview with Michael Jackson
On August 7, 2007 Dan Shelton, specialty beer importer extraordinaire and real beer guru/ devotee/ advocate/ promoter, interviewed Michael Jackson at his home in London. He posted a beautiful 10-minute clip on YouTube pulled from over 4 hours of video. "I wanted to capture for others the pure pleasure of sitting down and sharing a beer with him," Shelton says in his intro.

When Michael passed away 23 days after this was filmed, this little video was a great comfort and reconnection with his generous and accomodating spirit.

Thanks, Dan.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

More Beer Hunter Images

Use "MJBeerHunter" tag on your public Flickr photos to share them here.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Add Your Memories

We will endeavor to keep an archive of rememberances available here. Please use this post to comment to with your thoughts, images, videos and links.

A previous post contains links to memorial postings on other sites. Feel free to contribute links to these in that post.

Please comment to this post for your rememberances. Thank you. Cheers!

Remembering Michael Resources

Here are some of the better resources for keeping track of the outpouring of loss and celebration of Michael's prolific life; as you review you may be struck as we were by the realization of how many considered him a true friend:

Feel free to post simple urls/links of additional resources in the comments area below.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

National toast to Beer Hunter planned

Friends of Michael Jackson have begun to plan a national toast to Jackson later this month.

It would be a fundraiser for the National Parkinson Foundation.

Organizers first hoped to hold the toast at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 12, but realized it would be hard to pull everything together by then. A toast is now tentatively set for Sept. 30.

If you know a brewpub, bar, tavern, ale house, tap house, multi-tap or similar establishment that might participate urge them to do so. Information will be posted at the Beer Hunter website when plans are finalized, participants will be able to register their site and download a poster, and drinkers will find a list of toast sites.

There are also plans for a Michael Jackson Tribute Dinner in Philadelphia in March 2008 at the Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology. Jackson hosted tutored tastings there for the past 18 years. That dinner would be part of Philly Beer Week.

Words of wisdom from the Bard

It probably takes less than a minute to recall five great lines from Michael Jackson, although getting to them may have taken longer during a presentation from a speaker who celebrated digression.

Here are five paragraphs that jump to mind:

- But one glass of the Dublin stout and I would be transported from my desert island to a pub where the glistening black of the beer reflected the brass barrails, the polished mirrors and mahogany ... Two glasses and I would begin to enjoy my own company, three, and I would find myself as entertaining as Joyce, Wilde or O'Casey.

- The Blue Nuns of the beer world? "Premium Lager" is often the code on the labels. There is much more to be enjoyed than just the dubious refreshment of the bland, sweetish, international brand of lager, the behaving-badly of a headbanger or a cosily, anorakish bout of beer-boring.

- "Best before" dates are nonsense. Most beers can only go downhill from the moment they leave the brewery. There are, though, important exceptions: the minority of beers that are designed to mature in the bottle. "Best before" dates do not do justice to them, either.

- How was it for you? Valentine's Day, I mean. For me, the most romantic moment was when my love uttered those words of togetherness: "Let's walk down the road for a pint."

- The worldwide tide of bland beers will soon have come as far as it can. After that, it can only ebb to reveal the slow brews of lasting character.

Do you have a favorite from The Beer Hunter?

Mr. Jackson, will you sign my . . .

In a particularly poignant memorial to the Beer Hunter, Lew Bryson includes a story that begins in a bathroom.

Here is another.

Jackson had just finished speaking at a vertical tasting held away from the Great American Beer Festival hall. Before heading off for a beer writers' dinner, then to sign more autographs at the hall, he stopped at the restroom.

As he turned to leave the urinal a fan emerged from a stall, holding a piece of toilet paper. Jackson paused. The man passed by, shyly mumbling how much he enjoyed the tasting.

The chap who would drive Jackson to the beer writers' gathering, like Jackson sure that they had just missed a person asking for an autograph on toilet paper, had to ask: What was the strangest thing he had ever been asked to sign?

"Well last night two women asked me to sign their beavers," Jackson said.

He paused for effect.

"They both had those . . . I think you call them Beanie Babies."

Friday, August 31, 2007

Michael Jackson, The Beer Hunter, dies

Michael Jackson, whose writing about beer literally changed what is in the glasses of beer drinkers around the world, has died. He was 65.

Jackson, universally known as The Beer Hunter, recently revealed that he suffered from Parkinson’s disease and was battling other health problems. He remained active, speaking at beer and whisky events around the world and most recently addressing British beer writers before the Great British Beer Festival. He wrote about the past year in his last column for All About Beer Magazine, now available online.

Jackson began working for a local Yorkshire newspaper in 1958, when he was 16, having even earlier submitted news stories and jazz reviews. Working as both a writer and editor during the next 20 years he contributed to dozens of publications and also made documentary films. In his frequent travels he became deeply interested not only in drinking a wider range of beers, but how they were made and their origins.

Shortly after the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) rekindled interest in traditional beers in Great Britain in the 1970s, Jackson began to write more about beer.

He recalled in a 1996 interview:

“I had nothing to do with the starting of CAMRA, but I joined early on. I’d already traveled quite a bit as a journalist, and I’d tasted interesting beers in other countries. Particularly, I was very aware of the Belgian traditions and to some extent the German tradition. I thought, it’s very good that CAMRA is fighting for British tradition, but what about the tradition of these other countries? I think the motivation was almost like the motivation of some of those musicologists like Alan Lomax who went down to the Mississippi Delta in the ’50s and recorded old blues men before they died. I wanted to kind of record Belgian beer before those breweries didn’t exist anymore. I certainly didn’t see it as a career possibility, but I think all, or many, journalists have in them a sort of element of being an advocate.”

He published his first book about beer, The English Pub, in 1976, but it was his second, the World Guide to Beer (1977) that dovetailed with a quite young beer and brewing revolution in the United States. The book became a bible for both brewers and drinkers reconnecting with traditional beer.

In the 30 years since his books about beer and spirits - he was as authorative writer about Scotch as he was beer, but this is a beer publication - sold millions of copies. His television documentary called The Beer Hunter remains a cult classic almost 20 years after it was compiled.

He considered himself a journalist first, but also took equal pride in the words he put to paper.
They are only part of what he left behind and that list is endless. The tributes have just begun. It is the only topic of import today in beer blogs, on beer discussion boards and in various e-mail lists.

Expect the flow of words to continue for months.

They won’t be enough.

From Beer Therapy blog by Stan Hieronymus of