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."