Tributes pour in for great beer critic Michael Jack son

07 September, 2007

Michael Jackson, arguably the greatest ever beer critic , has died aged 65 after a 10-year battle with Parkinson's disease.

Widely admired in

Britain, Jackson was even more revered in the US

where he helped

inspire

a microbrewing revolution.

Uncompromising in his opinions and often appearing a little gruff in public, Jackson developed an elegant and sparkling writing style that entertained and informed in equal measure. He was no less an authority on whisky, writing about the subject with passion and expertise.

Jackson's career began in his native Yorkshire where he supplemented his newspaper reporting with beer writing. Following the publication of his first books, Jackson found TV fame with his series The Beer Hunter.

In an interview with Off Licence News a decade ago, Jackson railed against UK brewers who predicted a consolidation of beer brands and who were disparaging of

writers treating beer

in the same way as wines. "These people are idiots," he said.

He added that people

"still want to drink at the end of the day but they don't want 20 pints of something that's bland.

"They want to spend money on having an interesting experience. That's why they've gone to Tesco rather than gone to the pub. If beer is going to stay alive in a big way in Britain, then it needs to learn from wine."

Tributes to Jackson have poured in. Fellow critic Roger Protz said: "He was the best and always will be the best. His genius was to be able to write simply and beautifully about beer."

Meantime brewery founder Alastair Hook added: "To me he was the great inspiration - he turned base metal into gold with his writing."

Michael Turner, of Fuller's, said: "Michael took beer writing to another level and encouraged people to think about their beer in the same way as they do wine."

Jackson died at his London home on Aug 30. Details of the funeral have not yet been confirmed.




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